CANTON, Ohio- My final position preview for the 2017 Cleveland Browns will actually feature two positions so I can finish this up. I still need to make my divisional picks, so that’s why I’m finishing up the Browns final two positions now.
David Njoku- Cleveland let go of Gary Barnidge in the off-season. The Browns wanted to get younger at this position and more athletic. Njoku will get the chance to start. Cleveland is expecting big things out of David and, again, since the Browns are lacking talent at WR, they’ll be depending a lot on the tight ends this season.
Randall Telfer- Telfer will have a chance to play as well. Telfer will see plenty of time in the preseason games. But he’ll be battling for time against the following guy.
Seth DeValve- This will be DeVales’ second year. He too, will be expected to play well and be used more. You’ll be seeing Cleveland flopping him in and out of the lineup with Telfer, to see who plays the best.
Brock Osweiler- Yes, Osweiler has been named the starting QB in the first preseason game against the Saints. He’s received very few first team reps. My guess is the Browns are trying to showcase Osweiler in attempt to find a team that wants to trade for him. Besides that? Brock is the most experienced QB on this team and could serve as the backup QB, but who knows. I could care less if they keep him or not. I’d rather have future draft picks. But, the problem is, Cleveland will need him in case all the other QB’s go down due to injury.
Cody Kessler- Talk about a guy who earned his respect last year the hard way. Kessler is tough. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always equal winning the starting QB job. Hue Jackson grew tired of Kessler’s hesitation to throw the ball deep down field and to take chances with throwing the ball into tight windows. Cody will protect the ball, but in this league, you must take chances from time to time. I don’t think Kessler will ever be a starter quality QB. Backup? I think so.
DeShone Kizer- The rookie from Notre Dame. Kizer has everything in a QB that you want. Hue Jackson told him that he wanted him to work on his foot work during the off-season. He did that and came back and the coaches noticed a big improvement. DeShone has also been seen staying over late after practice going over the play book out on the field and acting out plays without any other players. Cleveland is hoping that they don’t have to rush him in anytime soon. But, he’ll need to practice every day as if he’s going to be thrown into play right now. I’m hoping if he plays, he can perform good enough that he forces Cleveland to second guess drafting another QB in next year’s draft.
Kevin Hogan- I’m not sure how long Hogan will last in the NFL. Maybe a practice squad guy? He’s not an NFL QB. Maybe a bottom feeder team’s backup? Yes, Cleveland is a bottom feeder, but, it’s not going to happen here.
Cleveland’s high hopes are hanging high on both the tight ends and running backs. Getting any production out of the WR’s is a bonus. All of this plus, if the defense can improve even a little, would help matters a lot.
I’m not expecting more than 3 or 4 wins. The 4 wins is a stretch.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick broulis