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Posts tagged with "3 Browns primed to break out in 2017"

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland Browns scribbles as I try to make a prediction for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals:

1. I thought I’d feel better about the Browns 31-28 loss to the Indianapolis Colts after a few days. Wrong. Instead, I feel worse.

2. I thought, “The Browns were so bad in that game. They were behind 28-7 late in the second quarter. They dropped passes. They committed stupid penalties. The defense checked out in the first half. It was an embarrassment. But they made the game close… So maybe there is hope for this week.”

3. Here’s one problem. The Browns picked Emmanuel Ogbah in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He showed some promise as a rookie pass rusher. But this season, he has been seemingly invisible. He has one sack, seven tackles.

4. Another problem is Carl Nassib. He was a third-round pick in 2016. Also a defensive end, his stats this season are the same as Ogbah’s — one sack, seven tackles. Nassib and Ogbah have not given the Browns much in the way of a pass rush. Maybe that will improve when Myles Garrett returns, but I wonder. I expected more from both of the second-year defensive ends.

5. No word yet on if Garrett (high ankle sprain) will play Sunday against the Bengals. I have doubts. Rushing him back is not wise.

6. The Browns defense has improved against the running game. They are allowing 3.1 yards per carry. That’s fifth best in the NFL. But they have allowed four rushing TDs, most in the NFL. Three were last week in Indianapolis, including two by quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Why was the Browns defense seemingly confused by Brissett running near the goal line? That is one of Brissett’s strengths.

7. I hear Danny Shelton has been grading well with the coaches against the run. The Colts averaged only 2.6 yards per carry… 92 yards rushing in 36 attempts. The middle of the Browns defensive line has been pretty solid. So has linebacker Joe Schobert and strong safety Derrick Kindred when facing the run. Shelton’s status for Sunday is in question as he’s has been limited in practice with a calf injury.

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The Cleveland Browns had a huge draft haul in 2017, and it was one that left fans hoping that they can turn the corner sooner than later. While the team addressed many of their key needs, expectations still need to be tempered, as this group isn’t likely to turn it around in one season while playing in a fairly tough decision. But, the Browns have some seriously talented potential breakout candidates in 2017, and each of these three names below could wind up being a vital part of their future.

For the Browns, the breakout candidates are going to be heavily on the offensive side, although there are plenty of options not listed from the defensive group as well. Let’s kick it off with the most surprising selection of the bunch.

Cody Kessler, QB

Before the shredding of Kessler begins, let’s take a step back to the 2016 NFL Draft. The Browns opted to select Kessler in the third round, and it was surprising, to say the least. But, head coach Hue Jackson vouched for it with an infamous statement that has stuck in the minds of many fans. As reported by Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, Jackson simply stated “you have to trust me on this one,” referring to the selection of Kessler.

He was high on the former USC quarterback, and just days ago made it known that the starting QB job in 2017 would be Kessler’s to lose, according to Pat McManamon of ESPN. With all that being said, the obvious question still lingering is, “What about DeShone Kizer?”

02 October 2016: Cleveland Browns quarterback Cody Kessler (6) walks off the field following the game at FedEx Field, in Landover, MD. where the Washington Redskins defeated the Cleveland Browns, 31-20. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)

(Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)

What about him?

Kizer is unquestionably a project and won’t be a Year 1 starter, so why not jump on the Kessler bandwagon? Last season, in nine games, he completed 65.6 percent of his passes for 1,380 yards, six touchdowns and just two interceptions. He also had a quarterback rating of 92.3. No, he wasn’t perfect and he certainly made rookie mistakes, but he showed flashes.

Corey Coleman, WR

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