X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

NFL Cleveland Browns

5 Unheralded Cleveland Browns Who Must Step Up In 2014

1 of 11

5 Unsung Cleveland Browns Who Must Step Up in 2014

Buster Skrine tackle
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns are seeking to regain relevance in the NFL. With a brand new regime, the Browns are laying the groundwork for success in 2014 and beyond. But in order to have success this season, they will need help from the entire roster. Here are five unheralded Browns players who will need to step up this season.

5. Travis Benjamin

Travis Benjamin
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

5. Travis Benjamin

Travis Benjamin
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Travis Benjamin took over previous KR/PR Josh Cribbs' job on the Browns in 2013. With the addition of Andrew Hawkins, whether Benjamin will be pulling double duty is unknown. When returning punts and kicks, look for Benjamin to consistently place the Browns' offense in good field position and take a few to the house.

4. Jabaal Sheard

Jabaal Sheard
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

4. Jabaal Sheard

Jabaal Sheard
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns are solid in the front seven and have the luxury of rotating players without skipping a beat. Linebackers like Paul Kruger, Karlos Dansby and Barkevious Mingo roam the second level. Another name is Jabaal Sheard. Sheard is an athlete who can put his hand down on the end or rush upright from the edge. Sheard is a high-energy guy, and that energy will be needed to help ignite the defense.

3. Mitchell Schwartz

Mitchell Schwartz
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

3. Mitchell Schwartz

Mitchell Schwartz
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

With Joe Thomas at left tackle and Alex Mack (potentially) manning the middle, Schwartz play will be key if he is the team's starting right tackle. The addition of Ben Tate gives the Browns a starting running back and shows that they are committing to running the ball. Schwartz will need to hold his own in the run game as well as protecting whoever is under center when they drop back to pass.

2. Buster Skrine

Buster Skrine
Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

2. Buster Skrine

Buster Skrine
Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Haden is Pro Bowl cornerback. Buster Skrine is not. He is a speedy compliment to Haden, but regularly found himself in no man's land and allowing receivers to get open. Last season, the Browns' secondary was a weakness for the defense. With teams shying away from Haden, Skrine will need to step up and handle the workload in order for the Browns to have success in 2014.

1. Brian Hoyer

Brian Hoyer
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

1. Brian Hoyer

Brian Hoyer
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

He may not be completely unheralded, but Hoyer is still not considered a starting quarterback in the NFL. He was able to start three of the four Browns' victories in 2013, but his injury leaves many questions heading into this season. If the Browns have a successful 2014, their quarterback production will be crucial. If Hoyer is the starter, he must have a strong influence on the offense and make a big impact.