Three Browns ranked among Pro Football Focus' top 50 players | Jeff Schudel's Cleveland Beat

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Jul. 23—Thirty-two teams are in the NFL, and according to rankings by Pro Football Focus, three of the top 50 players in the league play for the Browns.

PFF ranks defensive tackle Aaron Donald of the Rams as the best player in the league and Aaron Rodgers of the Packers, third overall, as the best quarterback in the NFL.

Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, listed as an edge rusher, is ranked 12th overall, five slots behind Steelers' edge rusher T.J. Watt.

Browns left guard Joel Bitonio is ranked 18th. Star running back Nick Chubb is ranked 44th.

"Very little separates Garrett from T.J. Watt as the best edge rusher currently in the NFL," PFF wrote in its analysis. "Over the past two seasons, Garrett has the best pass-rush win rate (22.6%) among edge rushers, narrowly ahead of Watt. He also leads the league in pass-rush wins that never developed into pressure because the quarterback got rid of the ball beforehand. Garrett is simply a dominant force on Cleveland's defensive line."

Two guards are ranked ahead of Bitonio. Zack Martin of the Cowboys is ninth, and Quentin Nelson of the Colts is ranked 12th.

"Bitonio has been an excellent player for his entire NFL career, but he took things to a different level in 2021, posting a 93.6 overall PFF grade while allowing 17 pressures in 17 games for the Browns," the PFF analysis reads. "His pass-blocking grade came in above 85.0 for the fifth straight season, and his run-blocking mark finished at 92.5."

Chubb is PFF's fourth best running back behind Derrick Henry of the Titans (16), Jonathan Taylor of the Colts (21) and Dalvin Cook of the Vikings (37).

"Chubb is as good as any running back in the game with the ball in his hands," Pro Football Focus wrote. "The only thing separating him from Derrick Henry and/or Jonathan Taylor is how little impact he has in the passing game along with the Browns coaching staff's slight lightening of his workload. Chubb accrued the third-most rushing yards last season, despite recording only the 12th-most carries, and averaged 4.2 yards after contact."

The only teams with more than three players ranked in PFF's top 50 are the 49ers and Packers with five each and the Chargers with four.

The Browns lead the AFC North with ranked players; the Steelers and Bengals have two each and the Ravens one.

Twelve teams — the Patriots, Seahawks, Jets, Giants, Commanders, Bears, Panthers, Broncos, Texans, Jaguars, Lions and Falcons — do not have a player ranked in the top 50.

—Browns general manager Andrew Berry is notorious for signing players to one-year contracts. Quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and Josh Rosen are each signed for 2022 only.

Both players will be auditioning for 2023 throughout the 2022 season to continue as Deshaun Watson's backup. Brissett will be the starting quarterback for the Browns if and when Deshaun Watson is suspended, but that doesn't mean Brissett is a lock to be re-signed for 2023. How Rosen and Brissett engage in team meetings, how each supports Watson and how each practices during the season — parts of the daily routine reporters won't be privy to — will determine whether either quarterback will be offered a job next season.

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