Sometimes, there’s nowhere to go but up. Thus is the case with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, who had a record of 1-15 last year. Just narrowly avoiding an 0-16 season in 2016, Browns players can really only improve from here on out. At the end of the day, however, some players will improve more during the season than others. So, who are the surefire locks in that department for the Cleveland Browns? Let’s take a look.
Five Cleveland Browns Players Who Will Improve in 2017
1. Emmanuel Ogbah
Near the end of last season, Emmanuel Ogbah started to show flashes. Yes, every once in a while, he would show a true glimpse of the greatness that he could become. One year has passed, and under the guidance of Gregg Williams, some of that greatness is ready to be unleashed. Additionally, Ogbah will be playing across the defensive line from first overall pick Myles Garrett. If Garrett turns out to be all that people say he will be, Ogbah will improve even more. Only time will tell on Garrett’s part, but Ogbah will absolutely improve regardless.
2. Isaiah Crowell
Last year, Isaiah Crowell rushed for nearly 1,000 yards. Remember the Browns offensive line last year? It wasn’t exactly ideal. However, Hue Jackson and Sashi Brown put a lot of work into the unit this past off-season. With a revamped offensive line, Crowell should turn into an absolute monster next season. The concept is relatively simple, as the offensive line is key for running backs. But, with a talent like “The Crow,” it could turn into something very special.
3. Duke Johnson
In 2015, Duke Johnson looked like he was ready to be something of a breakout star among Browns players. However, he only collected a measly 358 yards in 2015. Of course, as a third down back, yardage might not always come easily. But still, with only 358 on the year, there is plenty of room for improvement. Again, Johnson’s case for improvement comes down to the revamped offensive line. This coming year, Johnson should see major improvement among his Browns teammates.
4. Cody Kessler
As of right now, Cody Kessler is the Browns starting quarterback. While DeShone Kizer might be coming for his job midseason, for right now, Kessler is “the guy” for Hue Jackson and company. So, what makes him a breakout player candidate for 2017? Again, it’s that new and improved offensive line. Truthfully, the line could be the biggest game-changer in terms of Browns players this season. With all things considered, they mean the most to this Browns team in Hue Jackson’s coaching style. In terms of Cody Kessler, they mean better protection and therefore, fewer injuries nearly immediately.
5. Corey Coleman
Ahh yes, Corey Coleman. Hue Jackson’s first draft pick, and (hopefully) the poster boy for vast sophomore year improvement. With Coleman’s blazing speed and amazing catch abilities (showcased in week two last year), he already has all the tools. Despite having a broken hand, Coleman still had a pretty decent rookie season. Without a doubt, he’ll be exciting to watch now that he’s fully healed. Explosive, strong for his size, and with lethal speed, Corey Coleman is ready for an NFL breakout.