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Browns’ Position Battles to Watch Ahead of 2022 NFL Season | Bleacher Report


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    After ending an 18-year postseason drought in 2020, the Cleveland Browns couldn’t begin a playoff streak last season. They went 8-9 and missed the postseason, which led to some drastic changes this offseason—a minimum of on the offensive side of the ball.

    Cleveland swung trades for quarterback Deshaun Watson and wide receiver Amari Cooper, which suggests its offense could have a much different look in 2022. But when the Browns are going to achieve success and get back to the playoffs, they’ll need greater than just those two names to have success.

    There are some young and unproven players who will likely have to step up if Cleveland goes to succeed in its full potential. They usually’ll have a chance to begin carving out roles with the team during training camp and the preseason.

    Here’s a have a look at some key position battles the Browns could have heading into the 2022 season.

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    Cooper is an elite playmaker who will likely put up big numbers in his first season in Cleveland. However the Browns will need other receivers to step up and provides Watson more targets to throw to as he gets comfortable in his first season within the offense.

    It is not yet clear how Cleveland’s receiving depth chart will shake out. Donovan Peoples-Jones and Anthony Schwartz are returning players who could have sizable roles, while Jakeem Grant Sr. signed with the team throughout the offseason and will turn out to be a solid receiving option.

    There’s also rookie David Bell, who the Browns took within the third round of this 12 months’s draft. The previous Purdue standout must have a chance to earn loads of playing time heading into his debut NFL season.

    “A really competitive player,” Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski said, per ESPN’s Jake Trotter. “Catches the ball rather well … a natural competitiveness each in route-running and in route-catching—the flexibility to make contested catches and the flexibility within the route-running game to set people up [to get open].”

    The Browns need someone to fill the opening left by the departure of Jarvis Landry, and Bell may very well be the receiver who does that in 2022.

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    Last week, Jadeveon Clowney re-signed with the Browns, giving the team a formidable pass-rushing duo once more.

    Clowney and Myles Garrett had a ton of success on the perimeters in 2021, and that ought to again be the case throughout the upcoming season.

    Nevertheless, Cleveland might want to work out who’s going to play alongside them on the inside of its defensive position. Jordan Elliott, Tommy Togiai and Sheldon Day are among the many Browns’ returning defensive tackles, with Elliott the most definitely amongst that group to secure a starting role.

    Cleveland also bolstered the unit this offseason, signing Taven Bryan during free agency and using a fourth-round draft pick on Perrion Winfrey. It’s likely each players could have substantial roles for the Browns in 2022.

    Garrett and Clowney may anchor the pass rush, but Cleveland’s defensive position will probably be at its best if it’s getting strong production out of its defensive tackles, each pursuing the quarterback and stopping the run. So, the team will need to make a decision what the very best combination is for that to occur.

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    JC Tretter was the Browns’ starting center during his five seasons with the team. He missed just one game from 2017-21 and was a consistent presence in the course of Cleveland’s offensive line. Nevertheless, he was released in March in a move that cleared $8.235 million of cap space.

    Now, the Browns could have to make a decision on a recent starting center. The most definitely player to fill that role is Nick Harris, the team’s fifth-round pick in 2020. The 23-year-old played 23 games over his first two NFL seasons, and he appears poised for a much bigger role in 2022.

    “I’m just attempting to battle myself on daily basis and compete with myself within the practice reps that we get,” Harris said, per Anthony Poisal of the team’s official site. “Whatever is presented to me, I feel I’m ready for the chance.”

    Harris could have to earn the starting role, though, especially with Ethan Pocic also now in the combo. The 26-year-old played 57 games and made 40 starts over the past five seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, before signing with Cleveland this offseason.

    It should be intriguing to see who wins the battle between Harris and Pocic and helps lead this O-line into the brand new season.

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