Though the 2022 NFL season didn't go as hoped for the Cleveland Browns, there were some big positives to take away from the campaign. The team's draft class looked promising despite not having a first-round pick, wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones put together a career year, and Nick Chubb hit another level on the ground.
After an offseason that featured several notable additions, Cleveland's in a great spot to bounce back. Plus, there's a few players who seem poised for a huge 2023.
With that in mind, here are three Browns players who could break out this upcoming season.
Browns Breakout Players 2023
1. Deshaun Watson
Last season was always going to be difficult for Deshaun Watson with his off-the-field issues and ensuing 11-game suspension. Spending most of the campaign away from the team also destined him to struggle once he came back, which is exactly what happened. The three-time Pro Bowler threw just seven touchdowns across six starts, and he racked up five interceptions during this span as well, making his massive $230 million contract look like a potential mistake in the making.
Fast foward a year, though, and Watson now has the opportunity to show Browns fans what he's really capable of. His chemistry with the team's playmakers will be even stronger after they got familiar with each other in 2022. All the communication issues we saw between Watson and his pass-catchers down the stretch should be eradicated now that he'll be their starter from the jump.
Watson being available right away is just as important for his receiving corps as well. They won't be tasked with switching from one quarterback to the next and learning each QB's different approach. This should put them in a better spot to succeed, and make sure the Browns' passing offense improves after placing just outside the bottom 10 a year ago.
Cleveland's also done all it can this offseason to help Watson return to form. Not only did Andrew Berry go out and acquire slot weapon Elijah Moore (more on him later), but he also drafted Tennessee playmaker Cedric Tillman in the third round. With those two, Amari Cooper, David Njoku and DPJ all at Watson's disposal, 2023 could see Watson regain his status as one of the league's best quarterbacks.