The Cleveland Browns got four players in PFF’s Top 101
The Cleveland Browns are facing an off-season that sounds pretty “doom and gloom” and for justified reasons. The franchise as a whole has been mismanaged, with bad contracts, poor leadership, and a debt that’s coming due. All while navigating the worst public perception its had in decades, if not ever.
Yet, I do want to take a brief moment to shout out some good going on with the team, as hard as it may be to find any. PFF announced that three of the Browns players ended up on their Top 101. Amari Cooper comes in at No. 81, Joel Bitonio came in at No. 33, Nick Chubb at No. 22, and Myles Garrett at No. 6.
PFF overvalues pressure stats, so it’s no surprise that Myles Garrett, one of the least impressive run-stoppers at his position in the league, is valued so highly. Chubb is the best pure runner in the league but only got 22nd. And somehow, Cooper made the list.
That will end the positive portion of this analysis.
Amari Cooper isn’t a Top 101 player in the NFL
There have been some people who like to ignore facts, and some believe I said that Cooper wouldn’t be good in Cleveland. I never said that. I said he wasn’t a number one receiver, who could take over a game and is worth the contract he has.
None of that was proven wrong. He’s still not a number-one receiver, he didn’t show a history of taking over games and his contract is absolutely wrecking the Browns right now. Dawg Pound Daily said the Browns “fleeced” Jerry Jones, except the Browns went 7-10 and are on the verge of cleaning the house, while the Cowboys went 12-5 and lost a close contest to the defensive juggernaut San Francisco 49ers.
The Cowboys were 4th in the league in points scored, while the Browns were 18th. The Cowboys were not missing Cooper, but the Browns were certainly not better due to him. So when I say Cooper can’t take over games, this is what I mean. If he were a $20 million receiver, it wouldn’t matter who was throwing him the ball, he’d still be a game-breaker.
He’s not. He’s not a real number-one. He can’t destroy teams with a mediocre quarterback. The trade gave the Browns a valid number-two guy, and he’s an upgrade over Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. That’s all true, and I’ve never denied it.
But Cooper isn’t good enough to carry the Browns offensively, as guys like Stefon Diggs, Cooper Kupp, or Justin Jeffries can. According to FiveThirtyEight, Cooper tied for 19th with a rating of 67. AJ Brown, Tyler Lockett, Diggs, and others were in the 80s.
Cooper isn’t on that level and has never been. In 2021, with the Cowboys, he put up just a 69 rating. In 2020, a 68, in 2019, a 61, in 2017, a 36. Only in 2018, his first year in Dallas, did Cooper put up an 80+.
You can argue all you want about how good Cooper is, but the stats and facts don’t lie. Cooper is a good-enough option, but he’ll never be worth his contract; which is what I said when we acquired him.