The Cleveland Browns undoubtedly didn’t live up to the expectations that were given to them before the 2019 season. Despite having a talented roster, the Browns went 6-10 and were unable to end their drought of missing the playoffs.
Last offseason, when Cleveland acquired Odell Beckham Jr. via trade, everyone crowned them as Super Bowl contenders. But in typical Browns fashion, the entire team crumbled under the pressure and Freddie Kitchens didn’t seem fit to be a head coach.
Therefore, the Browns chose to move on from Kitchens after just one season as the head coach. Since firing Kitchens, Cleveland has already decided to hire Kevin Stefanski as the next head coach of the franchise.
Even though the Browns missed the postseason in 2019, there were still some positives to take from the season. With that being said, here are three players who improved the most throughout 2019.
3. Joe Schobert
Over the past three seasons, Joe Schobert has developed into one of the most underrated linebackers in the NFL. Furthermore, the Wisconsin product has combined for 380 tackles, eight sacks, seven forced fumbles, and six interceptions in the last three seasons.
This season alone, Schobert racked up 133 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, and four interceptions. But in Cleveland’s final seven games, the fourth-year linebacker totaled 51 tackles, four interceptions, and one sack.
Heading into the offseason, Schobert is set to become an unrestricted free agent. Provided that, he picked a perfect time to have one of the best seasons of his career with the Browns.
2. Denzel Ward
Due to a hamstring injury that he suffered in Week 2, Denzel Ward was sidelined for four games in 2019. After a slow start to the season, Ward bounced back in the second half of the season.
In his first four starts, the second-year linebacker managed to record only 13 tackles, three deflections, and a fumble recovery. On the other hand, in his final eight starts, Ward accumulated 31 tackles, eight deflections, two interceptions, and a touchdown.
As a former first-round pick, Ward is expected to become a mainstay in Cleveland’s defense. Following a strong showing from him in the second half of the season, Ward proved himself to be a talented corner for the second straight year.
1. Jarvis Landry
Prior to the 2018 season, the Browns were able to land Jarvis Landry in a trade with the Miami Dolphins. In his first year in Cleveland, the LSU alumn corraled a career-low 81 receptions for 976 yards and four touchdowns.
Then, in the first half of the 2019 season, it seemed as if Landry was headed toward having another disappointing season. Over the Browns’ first seven games, the veteran wide receiver had 30 receptions, 504 yards, and zero touchdowns.
After having zero touchdowns to begin the season, Landry finished strong with 53 catches for 670 yards and six touchdowns in the last nine weeks. Despite having the second-lowest receptions of his career, Landry produced a career-high 1,174 receiving yards in 2019.