Browns' Njoku: Defenses won't know how to handle us

The Cleveland Browns are the toast of the NFL after the additions of Odell Beckham Jr. and others.

Poised to be the 2019 Offseason Hype Darling -- a title that historically tends to strangle the party wearing the inscribed sash -- the Browns have all the pieces in place on paper to be one of the most dynamic offenses this season.

Baker Mayfield just set the rookie record for touchdown passes and brings explosive playmaking and a needed cocksure attitude to the huddle. Odell Beckham remains one of the best pass-catchers in NFL history and will tilt the entire field. Jarvis Landry is a slot menace who should feast after the catch thanks to the attention paid to Beckham. Antonio Callaway is a speedy deep threat who showed brilliant flashes as a rookie. Rashard Higgins is a reliable fourth receiver. Tight end David Njoku is an athletic mismatch growing by the year. Nick Chubb is a dynamic power runner who can blast through holes and has speed through the second level. Kareem Hunt is a wild card who could become a dangerous one-two punch with Chubb down the line. Duke Johnson is a movable chess piece in the backfield, if he remains in Cleveland. And the offensive line was solid last season and should remain so moving forward.

There isn't a true debilitating weakness.

While the attention will be rightfully paid to Beckham and the LSU reunion with Landry most of the offseason, don't discount Njoku becoming a bigger threat in Cleveland.

The 22-year-old tight end joined NFL Network's Free Agency Frenzy on Wednesday and noted that Beckham on the outside should open the middle for him to do damage.

"This is huge for me, really," Njoku said. "Because we have so much talent on offense, defenses won't know how to handle us. We're just so versatile. You can have me out wide. You can have Odell, Jarvis, Higgins, everybody, the running backs in the slot, out wide, everywhere. So no one's really sure of what we're doing."

Njoku made a leap from Year 1 to Year 2, compiling 56 receptions and 639 yards with four touchdowns in 2018. The tight end position is notoriously one of the most difficult for young players entering the NFL to produce at off the bat. Expect the growing, young TE to improve further in 2019. To that end, Njoku said he's already in California working with Mayfield and others on route timing, etc. to prepare for the season.

With so many dynamic players, the narrative surrounding the Browns could morph into how they share the ball to keep everyone happy.

"It's competition," Njoku said when asked that question by former Browns tackle Joe Thomas. "Whoever's open gets the ball. We're a team, so we've got to see it as such. But at the end of the day, we've got to compete."

The biggest hurdle for Cleveland might be managing expectations. Already being heralded as the favorites in the AFC North after spending nine of the past 11 years in the cellar of the division, new coach Freddie Kitchens must ensure the players don't believe their own hype stories.

"Really the most important thing is to really ignore the noise," Njoku said. "Obviously, getting Odell, getting a bunch of players we got, there is so much noise going around saying we're going to do this, we're going to do that. We've really just got to focus on ball, our job."

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