Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (left) and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (right)Ron Schwane/Associated Press
The Cleveland Browns earn a mention because the franchise hired a new head coach—an in-house promotion for Freddie Kitchens from offensive coordinator to lead skipper. The franchise hasn't reached the playoffs since the 2002-03 campaign, but Caesar's lists the club with -120 odds of making the playoffs, which differentiates it from the 10 ranked rebuilding squads.
The Browns have already gotten a head start on their rebuild, as quarterback Baker Mayfield and Kitchens worked together closely through the second half of last season.
After Cleveland dismissed former head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley from their respective positions, Kitchens took over play-calling duties and Mayfield threw for 2,254 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions across his final eight contests. That was a marked improvement from his 1,471 yards, eight touchdowns and six interceptions in the first half of the year.
The Browns promoted Kitchens to head coach, maintaining continuity with his quarterback. He also may have a major role in play-calling because of offensive coordinator Todd Monken's rocky start at the position, per NFL Network's Mike Silver.
Cleveland's decision to trade for wideout Odell Beckham Jr. should elevate the entire passing attack, too. When healthy, he's a top-five player at his position.
Kareem Hunt will serve an eight-game suspension for violating the league's personal-conduct policy for shoving and kicking a woman at a Cleveland hotel. Once he returns, the Pro Bowl ball-carrier and Nick Chubb could become the best running back tandem in the NFL.
The Browns ground attack would complete an electric offense and offset questionable starting talent on the right side of the offensive line. Austin Corbett, Kyle Kalis and Drew Forbes will compete to replace guard Kevin Zeitler, who Cleveland traded for defensive end Olivier Vernon. Chris Hubbard allowed 8.5 sacks last year, per the Washington Post's STATS.
Vernon is an established veteran who's set to play opposite rising star pass-rusher Myles Garrett. With Larry Ogunjobi and Sheldon Richardson in the middle, Cleveland's defensive line will have success pressuring quarterbacks.
The Browns secondary isn't devoid of talent. We don't know how cornerback Greedy Williams will pan out, but Denzel Ward had a solid rookie term, logging 11 pass breakups and three interceptions. Damarious Randall continued to show his ball-tracking skills with nine pass breakups and four picks last year.
The Browns play in an AFC North division that may be up for grabs.
The Pittsburgh Steelers lost Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell this offseason, while the Baltimore Ravens lost key defenders such as Terrell Suggs and C.J. Mosley. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson also must prove he can throw downfield. Meanwhile, Bengals have registered three consecutive losing seasons.
After finishing 7-8-1 last year, the Browns have a legitimate shot at a division title.
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers fall into the honorable mention category, as well. They're only three years removed from a division title but failed to reach the playoffs over the last two seasons. The club will also transition at head coach from Mike McCarthy to Matt LaFleur with a remodeled defense.
Two-time All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers' presence makes this an unordinary rebuilding job, which puts the Packers in a separate category.
In a down season, Rodgers threw for 4,442 yards, 25 touchdowns and two interceptions in an offense that looked stale, leading to McCarthy's dismissal in December.
Although LaFleur has an all-time talent under center, he can also utilize the young playmakers in the backfield. Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams combined for 1,192 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground last year. The former led the league in yards per carry (5.5).
The Packers defense may take some pressure off Rodgers and the offense. General manager Brian Gutekunst loaded the front seven with pass-rushers, signing Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith.
Gutekunst also selected Rashan Gary and Kingsley Keke in the first and fifth rounds, respectively. The former provides athleticism and the body type (6'4", 277 lbs) to break through offensive lines into the backfield. The latter registered 7.5 sacks as a senior at Texas A&M.
The Packers also signed Adrian Amos to a four year, $36 million deal and spent a first-round pick on safety Darnell Savage, a quick-striker with ball skills, to pair alongside Amos. Cornerback Jaire Alexander seems ready to take another step forward after leading the team in pass breakups (11) last year.
The Packers defense can take a major leap in the coming seasons. Rodgers has only had two top-10 defenses in yards or scoring, and one of those units helped lead the franchise to a Lombardi Trophy.
Gutekunst's offseason focus on the defense now gives the Packers a chance to close out opponents and win gritty low-scoring games.
In 2019, Rodgers will play alongside a group equipped to dominate games with a relentless pass rush.
Source : https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2844521-ranking-the-nfls-current-rebuilding-jobs969