Are the 2019 Browns going to be the 2018 Chiefs, or better?
Last year, the Kansas City Chiefs snuck up on everyone last season, taking the entire league by storm. Patrick Mahomes dominated in his second season in the NFL, leading the Chiefs to an AFC title game in his first season as a starter. Kansas City put up monster numbers on offense all year, and has set a new precedent for offense in the league.
Now, another team from the AFC looks to be on the same rise as the Chiefs. The Cleveland Browns have had a highly productive offseason to this point, and are a team who many think have the potential to make a legit playoff run next season. Just two years after a winless season, Cleveland has turned the negative trend of the franchise around. One player who has changed the trajectory of the team is Baker Mayfield. After the Browns took a huge gamble taking Mayfield number one overall in the 2018 draft, the quarterback from Oklahoma lit it up his rookie season, justifying the draft pick. Mayfield threw for 3,725 yards and 27 touchdowns last season.
Projections have Mayfield having an even bigger season next year after the arrival of star wideout ODell Beckham. The Browns were able to pull off a shock trade for the wideout, who is widely considered one of the best talents in the entire NFL. Beckham will join close friend and former college teammate Jarvis Landry, making up a dangerous set of receivers for Baker Mayfield to find.
One thing that this Browns team has, that last season’s Chiefs team didn’t have, is a formidable defense. With a soon-to-be elite pass rusher in Myles Garrett and an All-Pro caliber cornerback in Deziel Ward, Cleveland will have a defense that will be tough to beat. Look for the Browns to quickly turn into one of the NFL’s most exciting young teams next season as they continue to develop as a growing franchise.