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SB Nation loves the Browns’ offensive skill groups, although backup QB could use some work

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What happens if Baker Mayfield went down?

NFL: Cleveland Browns-OTA Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, SB Nation did several ranking articles for every team’s offense in the NFL, focused on entire groups at a position. For example, they didn’t look at which team had the best receiver in the NFL, but rather the best group of receivers in the NFL. This was done for running back, wide receiver, and tight end.

Backup QB

At quarterback, they mixed things up a bit by ranking everyone’s “Plan B” option — which in the case of the Browns, is veteran Drew Stanton. Stanton made it to the Tier III category, which is meant for “career backups.” He joins former Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer in that group, which is meant for the following:

This group is comprised of quarterbacks who accepted they look better on the sideline wearing a headset than on the field wearing a helmet. They’re fine, and you hope to never see them for more than a few garbage-time series per season.

Other former Browns on the list are Robert Griffin III (a veteran mentor) and QB DeShone Kizer (young guys who look in no way ready).

Running Back Stables

The Browns have the fourth best running back stable in the NFL. I’m sure the status of Kareem Hunt makes it hard to rank them right off the bat since he is suspended for half the season, but I feel the article doesn’t quite give enough credit to what Nick Chubb accompished as a rookie last year. Still, being ranked fourth best is nothing to sneeze at.

Wide Receiver Corps

The Browns’ group of Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway, and Rashard Higgins is ranked second in the NFL, only behind the Atlanta Falcons. Beckham elevates this group so much — without him, does Cleveland even get Top-15 recognition here?

Throwing Beckham and Landry at opposing secondaries will give the young duo of Callaway and Higgins — both of whom had more than 500 receiving yards last fall — some extra room to shine. With a combination of proven veteran stars and developing young playmakers, the Browns are loaded with different ways to burn opponents through the air.

Tight End Groups

Specific write ups were only done for the Top 5 best and worst units in the NFL for each article. I didn’t think Cleveland would be honored in the Top 5 at tight end, and I was right. But, I was surprised to see a special honorable mention given to David Njoku, Seth DeValve, and Demetrius Harris as the sixth best tight end group in the NFL.

Baker Mayfield loves to spread the ball to his tight ends. He formed an All-Big 12 connection with Mark Andrews at Oklahoma and rode David Njoku to nearly 14 yards per catch after Hue Jackson’s midseason firing. Now he’ll get Njoku, prepped for a third-season leap, along with Seth DeValve and Demetrius Harris — the former Division I basketball player Kansas City developed into an occasional weapon at tight end.


With such high potential on offense, will there be enough touches and targets to go around!?! It’s a good problem to have.