Mid-season offensive grades from ProFootballFocus

Mid-season offensive grades from ProFootballFocus

  • Time to lay out the grades at the halfway point.

    As a team the Browns rank 25th overall. I don't think even the most pessimistic Browns fan, other than Poppa, would think that after eight games the Browns would be 2-6 and better than only seven other teams.

    Offensively the Browns rank 22nd. Breaking it down, passing is 19th, pass blocking is 20th, run blocking is 25th, receiving is 12th, and rushing is 6th.

    It's amazing that the Browns have one of the worst run blocking teams but one of the best rushing teams. Imagine what Nick Chubb could do with even an average run blocking line. He's clearly the offensive MVP.

    The Browns receivers graded above average (12th) but not as high as expected. The injuries to Higgins and Njoku plus the suspension of Callaway contributed to that, but OBJ and Landry have been disappointing as well. Still, the fact that the receiving corps is above average bodes well for when everybody is healthy.

    Individually, Baker ranks 19th which puts him slightly below average among starters, not bad for a QB in his second season. He hasn't played as bad as many think if you trust PFF's evaluations.

    Chubb is the 5th ranked running back overall which makes him the highest ranked Browns player at any position.

    At WR, OBJ and Landry rank 36th and 38th, respectively. Assuming each team has a base of three WR's, one TE and one RB, that puts OBJ and Landry about one-third of the way down the list of the top 96 receivers. Better than most, but not great. That needs to change. Ratley ranked 98th and now that Callaway and Higgins are back he's no longer active.

    Among tight ends, Seals-Jones ranks 48th and Harris is 57th. Njoku doesn't have enough snaps to be ranked, but his grade is below Seals-Jones. None of the Browns' TE's this year are playing at a starting level, which I define as top 32. Seals-Jones received a run blocking grade of 38.9 which ranks 71 out of 72 in that category. Not surprising from a former WR.

    So much for Njoku having a breakout season. He would rank 54th if he had enough snaps to be ranked. He's looking more and more like another first round bust.

    At tackle, Greg Robinson ranks surprisingly high at 24th considering he was benched. He's actually an above average tackle in PFF's grading system. Hubbard is ranked 70 of 74. His run blocking grade of 39.2 also ranks 70th. I don't know if there is any other team he would be starting for. McCray has played limited snaps but he ranks 68th. Right tackle is a huge problem.

    At guard Joe Bitonio ranks 9th. Eric Kush ranks 70 of 78. Wyatt Teller, who replaced Kush last week, is even worse. He woud rank 72nd if qualified, but he's only played 1.5 games. Right guard is also a black hole of suck.

    Tretter ranks 7th at center after ranking very high last season. Nobody talks about this guy but he was a fantastic free agent signing by Dorsey, especially since Corbett bombed at the position.

    The bad news is that both Robinson and Tretter are free agents after this season.

    Bottom line is there are some gaping holes in this offense, notably right guard, right tackle, and tight end. The running back, center, and left guard are all in the top 10 in the NFL at their positions. The two starting receivers are above average but we have nothing behind them. Maybe Callaway or Higgins can get it going in the second half against weaker defenses than we've faced.

    Dorsey will need to find a starting RG, RT, and LT next year at a minimum. A tight end who can both run block and receive would be great and somebody needs to step up as the third receiver. The problem is that the defense is in worse shape than the offense, but that's another thread.

  • Discussion
  • Thanks Pros but the unanswered questions center on coaching. How much better would these individuals and units be with better coaching? Can they all be hopeless?

  • redright said... (original post) Thanks Pros but the unanswered questions center on coaching. How much better would these individuals and units be with better coaching? Can they a...

    Hopeless? That's a pretty strong word, but we're playing some guys who were cut by their previous teams. Or they let them walk in free agency. Kush, Robinson, and Hubbard all fall into this category along with Seals-Jones and Harris. Higgins was injured in the first game. Callaway was a 4th round pick who got himself suspended - not the coach's fault.

    As for players not developing the first guy I would point to is Njoku, who has rare tools. I don't know what his problem is other than being very young and having inconsistent hands.

    Mayfield is only in his second season and PFF ranks him 19th, so I don't have a problem with that, especially since the protection has been below average. Landry and OBJ were accomplished players before coming here. They don't need any coaching. Landry had 400 catches in four years with Miami. OBJ was a consistent 1,000 yard receiver.

    I think the huge problems at RG, RT, and TE have really hurt this offense along with Higgins and Callaway not being available for the toughest part of the schedule. Last year Mayfield really spread the ball around to Landry, Higgins, Callaway, Njoku, Duke Johnson, and Perriman. He had a lot of games where he completed passes to eight different receivers. This year Perriman and Duke are gone and Callaway and Higgins have been out. Defenses have been able to focus on OBJ and Landry.

    The loss of Zeitler is another huge factor.

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  • redright said... (original post) My intended point was better coaching was and is, needed. From my viewpoint the failure of the offense and defense lies mainly, primarily, with th...

    No question better coaching is needed, but what are you supposed to do with players who have been in the league for years and have never been productive and who have been cut or allowed to walk by multiple teams? Like Greg Robinson, a #2 overall pick who's on his third team. Or Eric Kush, a career backup who is starting. Or Hubbard, who was a backup for the Steelers who they allowed to leave.

    The defense has a lot of players like that - guys who were backups on their previous teams. They also have a rookie 5th round pick at linebacker.

    You can't coach players who are suspended, like Callaway.

    My point is there are a lot of guys playing a lot of snaps who have been in the league a while and are what they are - backups.