2023 NFL Power Rankings: Cleveland Browns
Throughout the 2023 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.
Below you will find a post-draft roundup for the Cleveland Browns in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.
ESPN -- Rank: 18
Most improved: Wide receiver
The Browns devoted much of this offseason to upgrading around franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson. Cleveland traded its second-round pick to the New York Jets to acquire speedy slot receiver Elijah Moore. Then the Browns used their highest remaining pick in the draft on third-round wideout Cedric Tillman. Cleveland also signed veteran Marquise Goodwin in free agency. The Browns struggled to find consistency at receiver in 2022, but Watson's receiving corps should be much deeper and more prolific in 2023.
NFL.com -- Rank: 21
The Browns had a smart, sensible draft -- but when it comes to this franchise, the focus continues to hang over the quarterback position. Deshaun Watson underwhelmed upon his return from suspension last year, prompting questions about whether he'll be able to regain the form that made him a superstar in Houston. "You can't define my career off of six games," Watson said in a surprise appearance on Twitter Spaces last week. The steady drumbeat of drama following Watson can cloud the fact that the Browns have an intriguing roster that makes them potential bounce-back candidates in the AFC. If Watson gets his game back, Cleveland is going to surprise people.
CBS Sports -- Rank: 14
If Deshaun Watson can revert to his old form, they will be a major factor in the division race. He looked bad last year, which has to be concerning. They have done a nice job adding to the roster through the draft and free agency.
USA Today -- Rank: 22
After everything he cost from a financial, draft capital and public relations standpoint, Year 2 under, ahem, franchise QB Deshaun Watson has to go better. Right?
The Athletic -- Rank: 17
Draft takeaway: With no picks until the third round, Cleveland nevertheless added real talent to the roster, including five players from Brugler's top 100. Third-round pick Cedric Tillman and previous addition Elijah Moore should give Watson enough weapons to look more like his former self on the field.
Hype man: So much rightful focus on the offensive improvements this season neglects the improvement we're going to have on defense. Jim Schwartz hasn't coordinated a defense that finished in the bottom half of the league by DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) since 2006 in Tennessee.
Deshaun Downer: You guys saw how bad Watson was last year, right?
PFF -- Rank: 9
The Browns shored up their defense this offseason by adding safety Juan Thornhill, defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson and edge Ogbonnia Okoronkwo. Drafting Siaki Ika, who posted a 76.4 PFF pass-rushing grade and an 11.6% pass-rush win rate in 2022, will morph their defense into a force to be reckoned with. Cleveland also added to its receiving corps by drafting Tennessee wide receiver Cedric Tillman.
PFT -- Rank: 17
I think Deshaun Watson is still good, but how can you tell after seeing him play six (highly) mediocre games in the last 28 months?
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