The whirlwind that has been the Browns' offseason, loaded with optimism, has earned them another set of sterling reviews.
Cleveland scored the highest grade in its division for its offseason activity in a piece published by CBSSports.com on Wednesday. The site's Ryan Wilson broke down the moves made by each of the four AFC North teams, listing key additions, losses and rookies, and came away with this set of final grades:
Wilson explained his grade for the Browns by first noting the elevation of former running backs and interim offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens to head coach, his work with quarterback Baker Mayfield over the final half of the season, and general manager John Dorsey's acquisition of that Odell Beckham Jr. guy. More from Wilson:
Check out photos from the eighth day of OTA practices
"Kitchens has no previous NFL head-coaching experience but he has one of the NFL's best rosters -- on both sides of the ball -- at his disposal. Mayfield is poised to improve on his impressive rookie campaign and in addition to Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway and David Njoku, Cleveland traded for Odell Freakin' Beckham. If that wasn't enough, GM John Dorsey added running back Kareem Hunt, who will be suspended the first eight games of the season. When he's reinstated, he'll make an already strong backfield even stronger, joining 2018 second-rounder Nick Chubb.
... "On defense, the team bolster(ed) the defensive line by signing Sheldon Richardson, added (Sione) Takitaki and (Mack) Wilson, two playmaking, athletic linebackers in the draft, and somehow landed the draft's most athletic cornerback, Greedy Williams, in Round 2.
"There's a reason the Browns -- not the Steelers or Ravens -- have the best Super Bowl odds (16-to-1) of any team in the division."
Dorsey overhauled Cleveland's roster after a 7-8-1 season with the aforementioned moves, but has stressed repeatedly since then that the team "hasn't done anything yet." Last Thursday, he implored that fans "don't believe the hype" until training camp arrives and the real work begins.
That work includes putting on the pads and playing legitimate football, not just running through plays and drills in helmets. A lot of players can look good in jerseys and shorts, but the final 53 will be determined in August.
For now, though, it's all sunshine in Cleveland, even with the smattering of late-spring rain.