So, how long before people start jumping on the Browns' bandwagon? You guys know you love this team.
The ultimate underdog.
A front-office who did a Hinkie-style multi-year long rebuild using analytics almost exclusively.
Now, the "football guys" have taken over.
Young talent is bountiful.
Josh Gordon (just turned 27) and Jarvis Landry (25yo) are a tantalizing combination. Gordon is in the greatest condition of his life and is reportedly finally matured and in the best shape of his life, by far. And this is a guy who was drugged and drunk, and still went for 1700 yards and 9 TDs in 14 games with Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden as his QBs that season. He is arguably the best big play receiver in the NFL and among the best all-around WRs on the planet when not suspended and fully in-shape.
Landry compliments him perfectly. He's arguably the league's best possession receiver. All of that space Gordon creates with his threat as a vertical guy will leave Landry finding all kinds of dead spots in the defense to feast upon. Then, we drafted Callaway who may have been the most talented WR in this rookie class (out of Florida) in the 4th round. He slipped because of personal problems. We'll see if he can prove CLE right for taking a chance with him. And, Corey Coleman certainly has talent. With this much firepower at WR, he may not make the team, but if he does, he'd make a good 4th/5th guy.
Gordon/Landry could be a dynamic duo with actual competent quarterback play and a good line in front of them. Say what you will about the limits of Tyrod Taylor (28yo), he is an above average NFL quarterback in this league. High completion rate, low interception totals -- which has been the Browns' offense biggest problem. Behind him, we have Baker Mayfield who... we'll see, but I feel good about him.
Tight end David Njoku is a physical freak of nature (first round pick in 2017). He had an up-and-down rookie year, but his QB was Deshaun Kizer. He was right there with rookie TEs OJ Howard (Tampa) and Engram (Giants) despite having far and away the worst QB of the three. Kizer didn't throw multiple touchdowns to many people in 2017. Njoku caught 4 and averaged over 12 yards a catch. I expect him to be the breakout player for the Browns in 2018.
Running backs? Signed Carlos Hyde, drafted Nick Chubb and have Duke Johnson, who is arguably the best receiving RB in the NFL. He is often lined up as a WR in the slot or even as a flanker. Very explosive player.
The line features arguably the best tackle tandem in Bitonio and Zeitler and a very good center with JC Tretter and great utility lineman in Chris Hubbard. The only question mark is replacing Joe Thomas (impossible), but this line is superior to last year's line.
Defensively, the talent is all over the field. We don't know exactly how it will look yet, but Peppers will now play his natural position of strong safety with Damarious Randle now taking over free safety duties. Denzel Ward and newly signed EJ Gaines ... just huge upgrades over what was there last year.
The front seven was solid last year, especially when Garrett, Ogbah and Jamie Collins were all healthy (didn't last long with Collins getting a season-ending injury shortly after Garrett came back and then Ogbah going down).
Throw in a new and pretty accomplished offensive coordinator in Todd Haley...
I don't know how many games they'll win, but this feels a little like all these years of suckage might finally start to benefit the fans who've stuck with it, because there is a lot of talent here.
Who's with us? Load up the wagon!