By Dan Williams @Dan_Wi11iams on July 2, 2014
After another miserable season in Cleveland, the Browns were in need of changes on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Cleveland began its overhaul in the front office and along the coaching staff, but brought in many new faces — a mixture of veterans and young players to turn the franchise around. This offseason was a big one for the Browns on paper, and these five additions should make a big impact in 2014.
When Justin Gilbert was drafted in the first round by Cleveland, he was thought to instantly compete for the starting role alongside CB Joe Haden. Gilbert has decent size and blazing speed, which should enable him to have a lengthy career in the NFL. Cleveland is investing in its defense, so look for Gilbert to develop into a solid cornerback in defensive secondary that boasts Haden and safety Donte Whitner.
When Hawkins signed with the Browns during the offseason, he became an instant upgrade over previous slot receiver Davone Bess. Hawkins was able to average over 11 yards after the catch in 2013, and should be able to continue that pace with the Browns. However, deep threat Josh Gordon's season is in question, Hawkins and his 5-foot-7 frame will be pinpointed by opposing defenses. His playmaking ability should allow him to shine in 2014.
Dansby is a household name in the NFL. With an All-Pro season in 2013, Dansby is seeking to continue where he left off and fill the need left by D'Qwell Jackson at inside linebacker. He has the skills and size to both stop the run and drop back in coverage. His style of play should pay large dividends on third downs, which were a problem for the Browns last season. Look for Dansby's leadership to play a huge role on and off the field.
Whitner's homecoming to Cleveland gives the Browns' secondary a large boost. With T.J. Ward no longer lurking in the defensive backfield, Whitner's presence will be a talking point for opposing offenses' game plans. His ability to stop the run is a key reason why the Browns were looking elsewhere at strong safety. Whitner's leadership and style of play will enable his teammates to raise their play in a tough AFC North division.
Lacking any semblance of a running game in 2013, the Browns set out to sign this year's most coveted unrestricted free agent RB. With the Texans, Ben Tate showed that he can shine in the NFL; however, injuries have plagued the beginning of his young career. Tate will get a chance to showcase his skills as a No. 1 back, and if he's able to remain healthy, he has the platform to become a star. Tate will fit nicely into Kyle Shanahan's offense.
December 29, 2014 by Luis Tirado Jr.
The New York Jets will most likely be in the market for a free agent veteran quarterback in 2015. Read why Jay Cutler would be the perfect fit for the Jets. Read More
December 29, 2014 by Julie Swartz
The Pittsburgh Steelers clinched the AFC North title Sunday Night by defeating the Cincinnati Bengals. But they also lost a key component of their offense that could potentially be disastrous. Read More
December 28, 2014 by Kevin Saito
The Broncos sent Oakland into the 2014 offseason with a whooping. Here are five takeaways from the Week 17 thrashing. Read More
December 28, 2014 by Ed Morgans
Steelers don't have a player to replace injured Le'Veon Bell. Read More
December 28, 2014 by Luis Tirado Jr.
Enough is enough already with Mike Smith and his head coaching tenure with the Atlanta Falcons. Read why he deserves to be fired. Read More
December 28, 2014 by Tyler Ruby
Heading into the 2015 NFL playoffs, who are the best coaches in the postseason? Read More
December 28, 2014 by Dan Parzych
Here's a look at the top 15 matchups from the NFL Playoffs 2015 that fans would love to see in Super Bowl XLIX. Read More
December 28, 2014 by Tyler Olson
Dan Quinn can stay in NFC West and bring his current rivals back to NFC supremacy. Read More
December 28, 2014 by RantSports Staff
With Jim Harbaugh now out of the picture, what will the San Francisco 49ers do at head coach? Read More
December 28, 2014 by Jacob Kornhauser
The NFL playoffs will get underway next weekend and there are plenty of intriguing matchups. Here are the power rankings for the playoff field. Read More
December 28, 2014 by Connor Muldowney
Ndamukong Suh proved why he is the dirtiest player in the league once again. Does he deserve a suspension? Read More
December 28, 2014 by Anthony Blake
There’s plenty of blame to go around, but here are five big reasons why the San Diego Chargers fell short in their quest to make the 2015 NFL Playoffs. Read More