The Cleveland Browns will head into the 2020 season with a roster heavy on young players, as all but three members of the current roster are under the age of 30.
A trio of those younger players - punter Jamie Gillan, defensive end Myles Garrett and running back Nick Chubb - earned a special nod on Wednesday as they were selected as members of NFL.com’s All-Under-25 squad for the upcoming year.
Who are the NFL's rising stars? @MarcSessler identifies the league's best young talent with his All-Under-25 Team. Check out who made the cut at each positionhttps://t.co/qYU1W8I4Zu pic.twitter.com/0AblEjMdG8— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) May 27, 2020
Gillan earned the punting spot after finishing his rookie campaign with an average of 46.2 yards per punt, good for 10th-best in the league, according to Marc Sessler:
Seattle’s Michael Dickson and Green Bay’s J.K. Scott deserve mention. “The Scottish Hammer” earns our bid, though, after nabbing Special Teams Player of the Month honors during his first September in the NFL before finishing the year with the game’s 10th-best average (46.2) and, per PFF, the third-lowest percentage of returnable kicks (31.7).
Perhaps that will take some of the sting out of Gillan just missing out on being named the best player to wear No. 7 in Browns history. (We kid!)
Chubb was selected to the team as a “flex back” after the two running back slots went to Christian McCaffrey of the Carolina Panthers (understandable) and Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants (debatable over Chubb), with Sessler explaining the pick:
I flip-flopped Chubb and Barkley more than once while piecing this together. Offering flickers of Jim Brown with his brute power and bounce-off-you rumblings, Chubb can do anything asked of him on the ground, outrushing Saquon over two seasons and topping both the Giants star and McCaffrey with his gaudy 5.1 yards per blast. Chubb’s 1,122 yards after contact trailed only Derrick Henry in 2019, per Pro Football Focus.
Garrett made the team even though his 2019 season was cut short by an unfortunate run in with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph during a game in November:
Understandably lost in Garrett’s inexcusable helmet smash of Steelers passer Mason Rudolph was the makings of a stellar campaign. Despite a resulting suspension that ended Garrett’s season after Week 11, the third-year edge man posted an NFL-high 25 percent pass-rush win rate, per PFF. The Browns watched their defense fall apart without him down the stretch, as thrilled offensive coordinators could suddenly forget about one of the game’s most ferocious balls of energy. Garrett has the ability to top 20 sacks in the right environment.
While this is the first time that Gillan has made one of these lists, Garrett and Chubb were both previously selected to a list of the top 25 players under the age of 25 by Pro Football Focus.