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Browns land three players on PFF’s Top 50 list

Myles Garrett, Joel Bitonio and Nick Chubb all recognized as being among the league’s elite.

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Cleveland Browns Mandatory Minicamp Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns have a roster that, while not perfect, is one built to win in 2022 as long as a few things break the right way.

To that end, the Browns landed three players on Pro Football Focus’ list of the game’s Top 50 Players for 2022.

In compiling the list, PFF did not use a “single number or grade,” but relied on grades “along with PFF’s wins above replacement (WAR) metric” to create a starting point while also looking at how each player performed last season.

First up for the Browns is defensive end Myles Garrett, who comes in at No. 12, five spots below linebacker T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the top edge rusher on the list:

Very little separates Garrett from T.J. Watt as the best edge rusher currently in the NFL. Over the past two seasons, Garrett has the best pass-rush win rate (22.6%) among edge rushers, narrowly ahead of Watt. He also leads the league in pass-rush wins that never developed into pressure because the quarterback got rid of the ball beforehand. Garrett is simply a dominant force on Cleveland’s defensive line.

Next up is left guard Joel Bitonio, who checks in at No. 18 as the third guard on the list, behind Zach Martin of the Dallas Cowboys (No. 9) and Quenton Nelson of the Indianapolis Colts (No. 11):

Bitonio has been an excellent player for his entire NFL career, but he took things to a different level in 2021, posting a 93.6 overall PFF grade while allowing 17 pressures in 17 games for the Browns. His pass-blocking grade came in above 85.0 for the fifth straight season, and his run-blocking mark finished at 92.5.

Finally, we get to running back Nick Chubb, who comes in at an absurdly low No. 44 as the fourth running back on the list, trailing Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans (No. 16), Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts (No. 21) and Dalvin Cook of the Minnesota Vikings (No. 37):

Chubb is as good as any running back in the game with the ball in his hands. The only thing separating him from Derrick Henry and/or Jonathan Taylor is how little impact he has in the passing game along with the Browns coaching staff’s slight lightening of his workload. Chubb accrued the third-most rushing yards last season, despite recording only the 12th-most carries, and averaged 4.2 yards after contact.

The most notable absence among Cleveland players is cornerback Denzel Ward, who did not make the list despite anchoring what PFF previously ranked as the league’s third-best secondary.