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ESPN ranks Browns “weapons” outside of the top 10

Nick Chubb, Amari Cooper & David Njoku are not enough to move

Cleveland Browns Offseason Workout Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

This year’s NFL offseason saw the Cleveland Browns tell the world what they thought about their defensive line and offensive weapons. In NFL free agency, GM Andrew Berry added to the defense with loads of players to the line, retained the linebacking group and replaced John Johnson III with Juan Thornhill. Berry added even more defensive talent in the NFL draft.

It was more surprising to see the direction the Browns took on offense. Kareem Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson hit the free agent market with no one coming in to replace them. Instead, TE Jordan Akins was joined by WRs Elijah Moore, Cedric Tillman and Marquise Goodwin to beef up the team’s passing attack.

Adding all of those players to Nick Chubb, Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones and David Njoku has a lot of fans excited about this year’s offense. Given all the assets traded away for him and his huge contract, Cleveland is making sure QB Deshaun Watson has every chance to be successful.

While many are impressed, not everyone is as high on the Browns weapons. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell (subscriber, $) used data points to evaluate every team’s set of weapons. In doing so, he ranked Cleveland’s running backs, wide receivers and tight ends 12th best in the league. Barnwell notes that Chubb is the best back in the league but the team lacks depth. He also noted the strong seasons by Cooper and Njoku.

As for the rest of the Browns specialists:

Donovan Peoples-Jones was probably better than you think last season; he racked up 839 receiving yards and was in solid WR2 range in terms of yards per route run. He also wasn’t good enough to keep Cleveland from trying to upgrade this offseason, as they traded for Elijah Moore and used a third-round pick on Cedric Tillman. Between Moore, Tillman and fellow third-round picks Anthony Schwartz and David Bell, the Browns need one of their young wideouts to break out and develop into a starter. Peoples-Jones is still only 24, but he’s a free agent after the season for a team spending significant money at just about every position on offense in addition to WR2.

An interesting note at the end about DPJ. Cleveland has spent a ton of money on basically every spot on the offense. It may not be possible for them to retain their former sixth-round pick after this season.

As for Barnwell’s overall rankings, having the Las Vegas Raiders (with just Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs to note of on their offense) feels like a huge slight. Similarly, the Minnesota Vikings ride Justin Jefferson into the top 10 with very little comparison to Cleveland’s weapons the rest of the way.

Only one AFC North team is ranked higher than the Browns and just five other AFC teams ahead of them with the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs not on that list.

How would you rank the weapons, not QB, in the AFC North? AFC as a whole?