The 2021 NFL season is right around the corner. More importantly, the 2021 Cleveland Browns season is around the corner. As of this article, there are only six days until the Browns week one game in Kansas City. There have been analysts’ picks of who will win certain awards. They range from MVP to Rookie of the Year, even to Comeback Player of the Year. But, why not look only at the Cleveland Browns to see who will win these awards for the Orange & Brown? So why not welcome the “Orange & Browns Awards” or OBA’s? Some may agree, some might not, but either way, it’ll be a fun discussion on who will win the awards come by the season’s end. Without further ado, let’s start awarding some before the season prediction OBA’s:
And the Orange & Browns Award for Offensive Rookie of the Year Goes Too…
Yes, Demetric Felton could possibly be the best Cleveland Browns offensive rookie this upcoming 2021 season. Although, yes the Browns didn’t draft a lot of rookies, Felton has the best shot to make a name for himself in his rookie campaign in the NFL. The triple threat of Felton as a running back, wide receiver, and returner could make him an option that head coach Kevin Stefanski will use a vast amount of times this season.
Even looking back at his time in UCLA, it’s easy to see how the Bruins used Felton all around the offense.
It’s clear that Felton can be used as a weapon out of the backfield as a receiver, and also as a running back. Plus, being able to have the offensive stats like that at UCLA is impressive and why he has done really well this offseason. It seemed like each week passed by, coaches and the fans knew that they found a gem in Felton. This is why the team kept him on the initial 53-man roster. Browns fans could expect to see Felton return kicks, be used as a fourth running back and as a wideout. There is a lot of upside for Felton and even so much versatility that the Browns are looking for.
And the Orange & Browns Award for Defensive Rookie of the Year Goes Too…
Greg Newsome II!
Honestly, Greg Newsome II could be the best rookie defensive player for the Browns this year. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah would come in as a close second behind Newsome. While yes JOK had a phenomenal preseason, Newsome II will have to deal with a plethora of good wideouts to deal with this season. That being said, Newsome II will continue the success he had back at Northwestern this year for the Browns. While college is vastly different than the NFL, Newsome II will show people why Cleveland picked him in the first round.
Furthermore, this offseason showed how much of a warrior Newsome II is on the defensive side of the ball. After giving up a 35-yard play against Jacksonville, he came right back to stop a big play on third down to end a drive. That shows a great mindset to where he won’t get rattled over one play. He will let it go and focus on the next one. In the NFL, being able to do that is huge. Coaches can try to teach mentality to a player, but if the guy already has it, it makes it easier for everyone. Newsome II should have a great year for the Browns if keeps up what he did back in college and during the preseason.
And the Orange & Browns Award for Defensive Player of the Year Goes Too…
Hold your shocked expressions because everyone knows it’s easily Myles Garrett. Garrett last year missed some games due to dealing with covid-19 but still had a stellar season. At one point, he was on pace to accumulate 16 sacks in 16 games. Although, missing those few games only had him finishing with 12 total. But, there is a good chance that he could possibly set the new Cleveland Browns single-season sack record, which is 14 set by Reggie Camp back in 1984. Garrett did have 13.5 back in 2018 so it is possible to break that feat.
Garrett also managed to have 33 solo tackles, four forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries last season. It got to where Garrett had a strip-sack for three or four games in a row. Garrett is literally a one-man wrecking crew for this Cleveland Browns defense. Furthermore, with the additions of Jadeveon Clowney, Tak McKinley, and others on the defense, Garrett could get more desirable matchups to have a massive season this year. There is no telling what will happen for Garrett and the Browns but expect a Madden-like stat line from 95 this season.
And the Orange & Browns Award for Offensive Player of the Year Goes Too…
Once again, hold your shocked expressions. There can be cases to be made for Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, etc. Although, the one name that will stand out is the Cleveland Browns Franchise Quarterback in Baker Mayfield. Mayfield in the last half of the 2020 season had one for the ages. If he was able to have that second half for the whole year, he could have won the NFL MVP last season. He only threw one interception in those last eight games of the 2020 season and led the Browns to their first playoff win since 1994!
Furthermore, with the Browns running back with the same offense, and the same coaches for the first time in Mayfield’s career; there could be another massive step for the team as a whole. Mayfield could possibly have an MVP-type season if he keeps plying right where he left off the second half of last year. Plus, with OBJ back healthy, an addition of speed from Anthony Schwartz, plus still having Landry and Rashard “Hollywood” Higgins, the offense will be a force in the air. Plus, there is this play to remind people that Baker is already in the mid-season form:
What an absolute dime by QB1. Baker is ready to light this league on 🔥 pic.twitter.com/WhPGhX65MH— Zachary Martin (@CLEZach) August 30, 2021
And the Orange & Browns Award for the Comeback Player of the Year Goes Too…
Odell Beckham Jr!
Unfortunately, the Browns lost OBJ for the season after week 7 in Cincinnati due to a knee injury. But, he recovered faster than normal for anyone with that type of injury and looks better than ever. The addition of a healthy OBJ will open up the secondary and give favorable matchups for guys like Landry, Higgins, Schwartz, etc. Plus it will give Mayfield another weapon to utilize in an offense that exploded last year in the second half of the season. To be able to get a playmaker like OBJ in the lineup will expand so much of the playbook for Stefanski and co.
The three-time pro-bowler and the 2014 AP Rookie of the Year will be looking for a revenge tour for the Browns this season. People, especially Browns fans, should possibly be expecting an explosive season from OBJ who can be deadly for any offense. OBJ will not only win the Browns Comeback Player of the Year but the NFL Comeback Player of the Year as well. The OBJ Revenge Tour starts on Sunday in Kansas City.
And the Orange & Browns Award for the Most Valuable Player Goes Too…
Myles Garrett & Baker Mayfield!
Yes, co-MVPs for the Cleveland Browns this season. As stated above, there is a clear indication as to why both guys will win the DPOTY and OPOTY. Either guy could possibly be the NFL’s MVP this season, especially the DPOTY & OPOTY in the league in general. These two have been the cornerstones of the franchise since they joined in 2017 (Garrett) and in 2018 (Mayfield). Furthermore, both guys will be Cleveland Browns for a long time and could have their numbers retired someday at First Energy Stadium.
Garrett and Mayfield embody what Cleveland is and will give it their all to bring a Super Bowl to the shores of Lake Erie. All in all, these two guys will lead the way offensively, and defensively, for the Browns this season which already feels like a special one. Browns fans, and even fans of the NFL, should be seeing these two guys making plays week in and week out for the Orange and Brown this 2021 season. Only time will tell where the end will unfold, but no matter what, it will be a fun one for not only the team but for the fans of the Cleveland browns as well.
My name is Zach Martin, the Chicago Blackhawks beat writer and the Cleveland Browns writer for Belly Up Sports, Belly Up Hockey, and Belly Up Football. Follow me on Twitter for the most up-to-date Blackhawks, and Browns content and news. I’m a co-host on a hockey podcast, Cannons & Tomahawks, that talks about all things NHL.