3 Browns Players Who Have a Make-or-Break Season Ahead in 2020

By michael obermuller
Baker Mayfield and the Browns need to bounce back next season.
Baker Mayfield and the Browns need to bounce back next season. / Rob Carr/Getty Images
facebooktwitterreddit

The Cleveland Browns were the most hyped team going into the 2019 season, but it ended up being nothing short of another dumpster fire for the organization. With head coach Freddie Kitchens fired after one disastrous season in charge, and rivals like the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers gearing up for another playoff run, where does Cleveland go from here?

Browns fans should not give up on the idea of winning this division in 2020, even with the reigning MVP (Lamar Jackson) standing in their path. There is still an abundance of talent on this roster, but Cleveland needs their star players to start rising to the occasion. The heat is on, and these three Browns players will be feeling the pressure to perform next season.

3. David Njoku, TE

David Njoku was sidelined for most of 2019, then benched upon his return.
David Njoku was sidelined for most of 2019, then benched upon his return. / Jason Miller/Getty Images

The former 2017 first round pick has not lived up to expectations. David Njoku's best season was his second one, hauling in 56 receptions for 639 yards, plus four touchdowns. Better yet, he seemed to develop a connection with the new rookie quarterback at the time, Baker Mayfield. Heading into 2019, some viewed the receiving tight end as a sleeper and a breakout candidate, but then injury struck. In the end, Njoku appeared in just four games last season, and only started Week 1. He had 41 receiving yards. It was not just the injury that hampered Njoku though, part of the problem was a strained relationship with Kitchens. With a new head coach and a fresh start in 2020, this may be the tight ends last chance in Cleveland.

2. Odell Beckham Jr., WR

OBJ has to start living up to his contract.
OBJ has to start living up to his contract. / Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

Odell Beckham Jr. will make a base salary of 14 million in 2020. For all the talk and all the talent however, the star wide receiver has yet to really make a consistent impact on a winning team. His personal stats are fantastic, sure, but in terms of winning, many believe he has been more of a hindrance and a distraction than a positive during his time in the NFL. Now just one year removed from being dealt by the Giants, Beckham is reportedly unhappy in Cleveland. The Browns are unlikely to deal the phenom this offseason though, which means he'll have at least one more year to help this franchise rebound. If things don't work out in Cleveland in 2020, Beckham could be in another uniform the following season.

1. Baker Mayfield, QB

Year three will be crucial for the Browns franchise quarterback.
Year three will be crucial for the Browns franchise quarterback. / Michael Hickey/Getty Images

After an inspiring rookie campaign, Baker Mayfield came out flat in year two, which is not uncommon in the NFL. The fiery young quarterback has in part made things harder on himself though, with all the media hype and endorsement deals, even if some of that was out of his control. With his yards per game and quarterback rating plummeting in 2019, and his number of interceptions on the rise, Baker doubters have come out of the woodwork. It didn't help that fellow draft class QB's Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen flourished for their respective teams in year two. When the Browns drafted Baker No. 1 overall in this stacked quarterback class, they put the future of the franchise in his hands. It will be imperative that Mayfield inspire confidence and comes out strong in 2020.


Join FanDuel Sportsbook Today. New users get a risk-free bet up to $500. Join Now.


Michael Obermuller is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Michael Obermuller also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username king_mizzard. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel. 

facebooktwitterreddit