Editor's Note: Over the next two weeks leading to training camp, Nathan Zegura, Jason Gibbs and Anthony Poisal will be giving their thoughts and predictions on some of the biggest questions surrounding the Browns as they prepare for training camp.
The Browns' rookie class is the biggest yet under Andrew Berry as GM.
Nine players were drafted last spring even though the Browns didn't make their first pick until the third round. A few of them will have an opportunity to instantly carve a big role in training camp, but only one of them was a unanimous selection among Nathan Zegura, Jason Gibbs and Anthony Poisal when asked which rookie will deliver the biggest impact.
Nathan Zegura: While many in the Browns rookie class will compete for a starting job and in fact, WR David Bell may earn one by Week 1, there is only one guaranteed full-time starter in this year's draft class and that is K Cade York. The Browns have long been searching for their kicker following the departure of the legendary Phil Dawson and hope that York is finally the solution. Last year, the Browns were dead last in the NFL in Field Goal Accuracy and when you're in a hyper competitive division (and conference for that matter) that features two of the best kickers in the NFL, every kick matters. York kicked for a National Championship team at Louisiana State, so he is very accustomed to big kicks in big moments. Speaking of big, his leg is massive as York heads to the Browns having made a ridiculous 15 of his 19 collegiate attempts from 50-plus yards. Turning the kicking game into a weapon and an asset will go a long way towards the Browns achieving their goal of winning the AFC North and going to the playoffs. York is the key to that statement becoming a reality and I absolutely believe he is up to the task.
Jason Gibbs: His name is York. Cade York. And he is your kicker for the 2022-23 season! If the off-season program and minicamp were any indication (and yes I do know it is the off-season and there are not 70,000 people losing their minds trying to mess with him) the Browns have found their kicker. The young man can kick it a mile and more importantly kick it a mile accurately. The Browns special teams unit will be better this season and it starts with him. David Bell will need to deliver this season and I think the draftee from Purdue will. I think we are all excited to see what Perrion Winfrey can be but don't go to sleep on MJ Emerson and Alex Wright, both of whom will be counted on this season. I'm also interested to see how the Browns use Jerome Ford and if you're looking for sleepers in camp watch WR Michael Woods and DE Isaiah Thomas, both of whom got positive reviews from the national draft analysts.
Anthony Poisal: There's definitely an argument to be made here for David Bell, who could immediately become a top threat in the pass game, but this has to go to York, right? He's already locked in as the top kicker and should be a huge difference-maker if he lives up to the expectations the Browns have for him. His biggest challenges will come when temperatures fall midseason and the wind picks up in Cleveland, and if he's able to consistently drill kicks then, the Browns might have solved a position they haven't found consistency in for over a decade. One of the biggest highlights of the spring was York converting a 58-yard field goal that looked to be good from 60 or more yards, so it'll be interesting to see how many chances the Browns give York from that range throughout the season.
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