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Browns: Post-2023 NFL draft power rankings round up

It has been an efficient offseason for general manager Andrew Berry and the Cleveland Browns, who have added talent to the roster through both free agency and the 2023 NFL draft. Some aren’t as high on the Browns this season after Deshaun Watson’s NFL return in the final six games was about as ugly as it could be. That has led some sites to start off their rankings saying “if” he returns to form the team should be highly ranked.

The Browns are not a perfect team and have a lot to prove on the field but on paper, they are easily a top-15 team in the NFL. Let’s take a look at several power rankings for the team and what they had to say about Cleveland’s 2023 season.

Fox Sports

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Ranking: 18

Explanation:

“On paper, the Browns look like they deserve a much better ranking. They traded for Elijah Moore and drafted Cedric Tillman to fill out their receiver corps, and they invested a lot of capital in their abysmal run defense. There aren’t any obvious weaknesses. The problem is that it’s hard to shake how awful Deshaun Watson looked after his return from suspension. If he can re-discover the level of play we remember from Houston, the Browns won’t be an afterthought for long.”

CBS Sports

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Ranking: 14

Explanation:

“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

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Ranking: 22

Explanation:

“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?”

NFL.com

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Ranking: 21

Explanation:

“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.”

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Story originally appeared on Browns Wire