Three Lessons That The Cleveland Browns Should Learn From The Top 100 Pro Football Focus Players

A few days ago, Pro Football Focus released its list of the top 101 players in the 2018 NFL season. Four Browns made the list: 55. Myles Garrett, 75. Baker Mayfield, 82. Joel Bitonio and 89. Denzel Ward.

As we read the list, some trends began to emerge regarding the composition of the team. Especially since the Browns finally have a quarterback, here are some points that I think should be taken into account by the team:

Here is the list of broad receivers that made the list without their QB, the ranking of their PFF list and their draft slot:

26. Julio Jones: 6th overall. He is a dominant receiver but plays with a guy who can do this list in a given year.

30. Adam Thielen: Not manufactured. He had a good season. He also plays with a quarterback who is insured for $ 84 million, finished 7th in the league in goals and had an "alienated" target share this season.

36. Odell Beckham Jr .: 12th overall. Eli Manning has certainly not been great this year, and Beckham is an elite talent.

56. Mike Evans: 7th overall. He was very successful despite the highs and lows of the quarterback position in Tampa.

63. Tyler Boyd: 55th overall. He was a positive point in a Cincinnati team that was frankly very bad. Part of me wonders what production he had in the two halftime seconds when the Cleveland Browns had already won the match at half-time, but it's probably just me who trolled.

65. Juju Smith-Schuster: 62nd overall. He plays with a future Hall of Fame QB, which is probably on this list most years and was the fourth most targeted receiver in the league.

Average PFF ranking: 46

Some of these guys (Beckham, Jones, Evans) were just elite candidates who are and have been crazy talents. Others (Thielen, Boyd) appear to have been rough diamonds that do not need elite physical tools or elite QB to succeed.

But when you step back and analyze this group of guys, it seems like you had to have a great draw to find an elite production at WR without an elite QB. The average draft position of these players is 65th overall and only three players from the league have been selected. on the outside of the first round and makes this list without their QB also making it.

Lets compare this to …

Here is the list of wide receivers that made this list with their QB also making it, their PFF rating, and their project niche:

2. DeAndre Hopkins, 27th overall

6. Michael Thomas, 47th overall

25. Tyreek Hill: 165th overall

33. Keenan Allen: 76th overall

48. Davante Adams: 53rd overall

49. Robert Woods: 41st overall

59. TY Hilton: 92nd in total

84. Tyler Lockett: 69th overall

Average PFF ranking: 38.25

I'm not saying that the guys on this list are not good, they are clearly *.

But these guys who are able to perform at an elite level with an elite QB is not so coveted in the repechage and has 8 places better in the PFF ranking on average.

There is only one first-round pick on this list (Hopkins), and the project experts had already fallen in love with his former Clemson teammate, Sammy Watkins, when he was available. The average position of the candidates on this list is 71st overall, which is only 6 places below the list above.

But in terms of volume, many more of these guys (7 out of 8) were found outside the first round. And without the outlier (Thielen), the group that played without QB elite was averaged in 44th place.

Unlike wide receivers, there were not many patterns with the final group tight. And frankly, there have not been many tight situations, period.

13. George Kittle: 146th overall. He's playing in an excellent attack that targets him a lot but has had an elite season with a non-elite QB game in the way you cut it.

91. Zach Ertz: 35th overall. He seems to play well with Wentz or Foles at QB.

23. Travis Kelce: 63rd overall. He played with Patrick Mahomes who, you know, had a good season.

None of these guys was particularly high, although Ertz almost managed to make the first round. But it is difficult to draw conclusions of a sample size of 3 people. I would rather focus on the fact that the sample size is so small at first.

Do the defenses catch the tight end of the athlete? Do mistakes leave out embarrassment and put more receivers and / or passwords on the court? Are there only very few guys on planet Earth who are big enough to block effectively while being quick enough to serve as an elite threat? Whatever the cause, it makes sense to build your offense without relying on TE's dominant game. elite TEs are not easy to find.

Some of the defensive players on the list like 1. Aaron Donald or (up to now) 76. Darius Leonard entered the NFL as legitimate players. But many defensive players have apparently taken a few years to develop. According to my subjective and approximate estimation, here are some of them:

5. Fletcher Cox. Although he is a first-round pick, he set up an AV of 4 in his first year and 8 seconds, the same average AV as the first two years of Danny Shelton. He has since become one of the most dominant line players in football.

9. Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore was not bad in Buffalo, but never overshadowed an AV of 6 in his first four years. He was incredible in New England this year, watching the best WR of the other team more than any other player in the league and playing well.

11. Akiem Hicks. Hicks triumphed in three teams over a seven-year career. He never put more than 4.5 bags a year before reaching the Bears in 2016, where he flourished.

15. Chris Jones. Jones has more than doubled his career highs in bags / year and QB hits / year in 2018.

17. Grady Jarrett. PFF has placed Jarrett very well, while other measures do not favor him as much. But Jarrett has recorded better numbers every year of his 4-year career, accumulating more bags and QB hits each year.

20. Jamal Adams. In his second season, Adams appears to be on a trajectory at the height of his billing project. He saw an increase in INTs, defensive passes, forced fumbles, sacks, tackles and QB hits in the second year.

24. Calais Campbell. Campbell spent 11 years in the NFL and was virtually a different player in the second half of his career. He was active for the 16 games as a rookie, but set up an AV of 1 (which equals Johnny Manziel's year of recruits, if you ask). He seemed to be average for the next 5 years, but was really good for the next 5 years.

Again, this is the subjective analysis of a person, but these are 7 of the first 25 players on the PFF list. He's sprinkled with guys who did not set the world on fire during their rookie season, but who have become one of the best defensemen in the NFL. Do not believe me? Check the list for yourself. At least in terms of defensive talent, it seems like patience is needed.

Is there anything else you missed from this list? As the Browns enter the off season, what should they keep in mind about the composition of the team? Let's discuss in the comments below.