Nobody could reasonably have expected them to be any good last year but somebody probably expected them to win more than one game. This year count on improvement, and not just because the bar has been set so very low.
Last year: 1-15
Subtractions: WR Terrelle Pryor, LB Demario Davis, QB Robert Griffin III
Additions: WR Kenny Britt, RG Kevin Zeitler, C J.C. Tretter, S Calvin Pryor
Notable Rookies: DE Myles Garrett, TE David Njoku, S Jabrill Peppers, QB DeShone Kizer
Analysis: While many of their losses came in close games they were still losses, but that worked out for the Browns, who may soon begin to reap the rewards of years of early draft picks. One (of many) of the problems with last year’s team was that no quarterback emerged as a legitimate starter. They may have the same problem this year, as their quarterback room consists of 2nd round rookie DeShone Kizer, Houston salary dump Brock Osweiler, and utterly vanilla Cody Kessler. Plan A is for Kizer to emerge as a viable option by the end of the season, but Plan A rarely works out for the Cleveland Browns. The team lost its best receiver in years when Terrelle Pryor signed with Washington. Kenny Britt replaces him as the top option but on paper, it’s a clear downgrade. First round rookie tight end David Njoku and second-year receiver Corey Coleman are expected to step up in a big way. Defensive end Myles Garrett and jack-of-all-trades Jabrill Peppers join the defense and should help to legitimize the unit. The team released its top cornerback Joe Haden, and his absence will mean more playing time for Jason McCourty and Briean Boddy-Calhoun which is likely a step-down. Second-year head coach Hue Jackson has a deeper, more talented roster this year which is far from contending but should be a great deal more watchable than last year’s iteration.