Top 10 Players That Will Lead Cleveland Browns to 2013 Playoffs
10 Players That Will Lead Browns to 2013 Playoffs
Championships are hard to come by in the city of Cleveland. The Cleveland Indians haven't won a World Series since 1948, the Cleveland Cavaliers haven't won an NBA title since the league started and the Cleveland Browns haven't won an NFL Championship since 1964.
If you live in Cleveland, chances are you have only seen one or two titles in a major sport in your lifetime and hoping for another one is the least selfish thing you could do.
Having won just one title in a major sport since 1950, the city of Cleveland is struggling to keep fans and even the most loyal fans are wondering when their time will come.
The Browns have been a mediocre team for years now and that has shown with their lack of playoff experience in the past 11 years. In fact, they have made just one playoff appearance since 1994.
Brandon Weeden was brought in to play quarterback last season after being drafted in the 2012 NFL Draft and looked to be the answer at that position. But after a tough season overall, the 29-year-old rookie may be in a sticky situation if the Browns decide to draft a quarterback in the upcoming draft, which I suspect they will.
Trent Richardson was also a top draft pick for the Browns in 2012 and had a successful rookie season at running back, looking as if he will be the go-to guy in Cleveland for the foreseeable future.
Although a playoff run may be improbable in 2013, here are 10 guys that could make it possible.
10. Jabaal Sheard
Jabaal Sheard is a solid NFL defensive end. He recorded seven sacks last season and started every game. His seven sacks are impressive, but down from 8.5 the year before.
9. Buster Skrine
Buster Skrine had a solid sophomore season in the NFL with 85 tackles. Although he didn't record any interceptions, he remains one of the top young cornerbacks in the league.
8. Travis Benjamin
Travis Benjamin had just 18 catches and 298 yards in 2012, but I am putting him on this list for one reason only: potential. He showed it in his final three games of his rookie season, catching eight passes for 158 yards and a touchdown.
7. Brandon Weeden
Usually a quarterback would be higher up on this kind of list, but it's still up in the air if Brandon Weeden will be the starter next season. The Browns could draft a quarterback or trust the 29-year-old second-year quarterback.
6. Craig Robertson
The rookie linebacker sensation, Craig Robertson, was a solid fit in the Cleveland Browns' defensive scheme. He recorded 93 tackles, one sack and two interceptions last year. Pretty impressive for a rookie who only started three games.
5. Joe Haden
Joe Haden rounds out the solid cornerback crew that the Browns boast. Recording 51 tackles and three interceptions in 2012 in just the start for the third-year player.
4. D'Qwell Jackson
D'Qwell Jackson is the kind of veteran any team would die for. He had 118 tackles, 3.5 sacks and two picks last year, marking the fourth year in his eight-year career that the linebacker recorded over 100 tackles.
3. Greg Little
Greg Little is one of the two top receivers returning in 2013. Little started all 16 games last year. Although he suffered a bit of a sophomore slump, the soon-to-be third-year receiver caught 53 passes last year for 647 yards.
2. Josh Gordon
With 50 catches in 2012, Josh Gordon established himself as the No. 1 target for Weeden. He had 805 yards and five touchdowns in his rookie year, making him one of the best young receivers in the league.
1. Trent Richardson
Trent Richardson caps off one of the youngest teams in the league at the No. 1 spot on this list. He showed promise as one of the best running backs out there with 950 yards and 11 touchdowns. He will likely break the 1,000-yard mark this year and will need to do so if the Browns want to make the playoffs.