Browns Week 1: New additions mostly impress

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The Cleveland Browns lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1. The problems were clear: Jamie Gillan’s gaffe, Nick Chubb’s fumble, Ronnie Harrison’s ejection and a general inability to cover Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce.

Now that we got the negative truths out of the way, there are a lot of positives to take away from the game. The positives are not “moral victories” but assessments of the play on the field that showed promise and are encouraging looking forward.

Cleveland controlled the majority of the game with a crisp, balanced offense and a defense that stepped up at just the right time. Baker Mayfield was sharp the majority of the game and the offensive line was able to stay, mostly, solid despite the loss of Jedrick Wills early.

What about all the new additions that Browns fans were looking forward to finally seeing on the field? We saw a lot of good out of them as well but not from everyone.

Jadeveon Clowney

[Jeff Lange / Akron Beacon Journal]
Browns 2

One of the biggest names from this offseason, Clowney was all over the field including a huge tackle for loss on a Tyreek Hill run. Overall, Clowney had four tackles including that one tackle for loss. Pro Football Focus graded him lower than expected at 65.6 but, not surprisingly given his history, better against the run than the pass.

Takk McKinley

The other Browns edge addition was Takk McKinley. Signed before Clowney, McKinley took almost a month off of training camp due to a personal issue. He didn't see any time in preseason games but was on the field in Week 1 for 24 snaps. He had two tackles, one tackle for loss and a quarterback hit to his resume. He whiffed on a Patrick Mahomes scramble but many very good players have that experience. PFF graded him better than Clowney (and Myles Garrett) at 69.5 on his limited snaps.

John Johnson III

(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

It is probably very difficult to play pass defense against the Chiefs and John Johnson III saw that first hand. Left in one on one coverage against Hill, Johnson was the closest defender on the 75-yard touchdown catch and run that changed the momentum. Credited with five tackles and one pass deflection, Johnson struggled. PFF's grade isn't pretty for Johnson having him with an overall grade of 55.7 and a 55.4 grade in coverage.

Greg Newsome II

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

We covered the Browns first-round pick earlier. His play was very good and summed up by this tweet:

Not perfect but taking the positives as they come. Overall, Newsome was given a 72.6 grade by PFF>

Troy Hill

(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Johnson's teammate in LA last year, Troy Hill also struggled against the Chiefs. Matched up with Tyreek Hill at times, the Browns Hill didn't have the impact fans were hoping. Credited with just two tackles, Cleveland needs him more involved in his 43 snaps. PFF has him graded at 59.9 overall with a poor coverage grade of 52.9.

Malik McDowell

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

In what may be the find of the offseason in the NFL, Malik McDowell played very well in his first game ever in the NFL (despite being drafted in 2017). McDowell played in 45 snaps and had two tackles including a tackle for loss. An interior defender's impact is less visible in the box score but PFF's grade of 83.0 is fourth-best among interior defenders in Week 1. Andrew Berry may have found a gem.

Malik Jackson

[Jeff Lange/Beacon Journal]
The other interior Malik didn't have quite as good of a day but still played well in his 43 snaps. Veteran Malik Jackson had three tackles, one pass deflection and one hit on the quarterback.

Jackson was graded with a 67.0 including a solid 68.4 against the run.

Anthony Walker

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

On the field the entire game, Walker was in coverage for 38 of those snaps. With Kelce having a great game and Hill causing havoc all over the formation, Walker struggled as most linebackers would. He led the team with nine tackles in Week 1. His PFF grade is better than expected but not good at 59.6 including a 61.1 grade in coverage.

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah

The more flashy name, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah graded out well but only played 25 snaps on defense. He was a one-man coverage unit on special teams as well. For the game, the Notre Dame product had three tackles but showed off his speed. In those 25 snaps, PFF graded him at 69.5 overall and a surprisingly good 78.3 against the run and a poor 55.2 in coverage.

Anthony Schwartz

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The lone major addition to the offense is speedster Anthony Schwartz. Cleveland made sure to get him involved in the offense leading to three receptions for 69 yards and one rush for 17 yards. With Odell Beckham Jr. out, Schwartz got a chance to shine. For Week 1, PFF has Schwartz graded at the eighth-best wide receiver in the NFL with a grade of 82.2. A great start for the third-round pick.

Richard LeCounte and Demetric Felton

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The two later-round picks for the Browns were not on the field much. Richard LeCounte got five plays at safety while Johnson was getting an IV in the locker room. He did not factor into the box score. LeCounte also played in 12 special teams plays. Demetric Felton didn't see the field for the offense but returned one kick and one punt for a total of 17 yards while playing a total of 15 plays on special teams. Insignificant debuts with not enough to evaluate at this time.

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