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PFF ranks the Browns' roster 31st in the NFL

Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Even though Pro Football Focus really likes what the Cleveland Browns have done this offseason, the anticipated quality of talent on the roster plummeted compared to this time last year. PFF ranked all 32 rosters in the NFL, and the Browns came in at No. 31 overall, with only the San Francisco 49ers behind them. Here are some notes on what PFF said about the Browns:

  • Their roster ranking was No. 24 in 2014 and No. 14 in 2015, so you can see how far they've plummeted in 2016 at No. 31.

  • The Top 5 players on the Browns' roster are OT Joe Thomas, OG Joel Bitonio, OG John Greco, RB Duke Johnson Jr., and TE Gary Barnidge. Thomas and Bitonio were both in the Top 5 last year, but missing this year are C Alex Mack (free agency), SS Donte Whitner (cut), and ILB Karlos Dansby (cut).

  • Which starting positions could use an upgrade? C Cameron Erving, ILB Demario Davis, ILB Christian Kirksey, and OLB Paul Kruger. I'd have to agree with all of those. We're casting blind hope that Erving will be a better fit at center and with an offseason to work on things, but he was a complete disaster as a rookie guard. The inside linebacker position has been generally weak for a long time now, remaining somewhat stable on the likes of veterans D'Qwell Jackson and Karlos Dansby. Davis now tries to fill that role at a much more affordable rate. Whether Kruger was misused last year or not, it's still remarkable how ineffective he was from a playmaking standpoint.

  • Speaking on the Browns' quarterback situation, PFF said, "There are glimmers of hope for quarterback Robert Griffin III, who will get to work with Hue Jackson, but Griffin needs to show major improvement from the end of his tenure in Washington."

  • PFF was blunt in their conclusion, saying, "On paper, [this] is an ugly looking roster." Considering how much they liked the Browns' draft class, though, they feel the potential is there for the roster to  "turn around in a hurry."

The other teams in the AFC North were ranked as follows: Steelers (No. 4), Bengals (No. 6), and Ravens (No. 17). The Steelers and Bengals both improved from their rankings this time last year, while the Ravens also kind of plummeted (they were ranked No. 3 last year).