Browns 3-year future bright, has concerns according to ESPN

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All that matters for fans is how the team plays on the field but analyzing the Cleveland Browns in a variety of ways is part of what makes the 24/7 sports cycle run. The 2022 season still doesn’t have clarity with QB Deshaun Watson’s discipline pending.

The Browns have done a great job of stacking talent. The offensive line has been built by a few different front offices. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, both brought in by former GM John Dorsey, lead the way for the best running back group in the NFL.

The defense has elite-level players added through the NFL draft and a couple of important free agents that have filled needs over the last couple of seasons.

The future is bright for Cleveland but ESPN’s “Future Power Rankings” (subsciber, $)  has some concerns starting with Watson returning after a year (or more) off.  Their equation combines a variety of things including the team’s limited draft assets moving forward, the Browns lowest score, which led them to a the 10th best ranking:

The Browns can prioritize the passing game with more help on the outside. With a new quarterback in 2022, they will need reinforcements at wide receiver behind Cooper. Cleveland, known for its run-game prowess, attempted 520 passes last year, the sixth-lowest total in the NFL. All the teams in this range either don’t have a top QB or had injuries at the position last year. Tweaking the formula over the next few years will serve Cleveland well. — Fowler

Placing value on the passing game makes sense based on recent data but the elite play of Cleveland’s rushing attack shouldn’t be minimized.

The Browns have a chance to prove that they are better than their ranking starting in 2022 but, as ESPN notes, won’t have a ton of draft assets to make improvements as the years go on.