Cleveland Browns 2021 Season Team Awards

browns 2021 season awards

The 2021 Cleveland Browns season was an underwhelming one. Before it began, there were high expectations placed on the team, with some even believing they would enter the Super Bowl conversation. However, the Browns were plagued with numerous injuries throughout the season, leaving them playing at a level far below their true capabilities. Despite finishing 8-9, Cleveland’s roster is still regarded as one of the better ones. Let’s hand out some awards for the Browns 2021 season and see which players stood out the most.

Cleveland Browns 2021 Season Team Awards

Most Valuable Player/Defensive Player of the Year: Myles Garrett

Myles Garrett remains one of the league’s best edge players and one of the Browns foundational pieces. Per Pro Football Focus, the defensive end had the third-highest pass-rush win rate when in an outside-the-tackle alignment. Garrett continued being a threat in 2021 with opponents seeing the need to double-team him constantly.

Garrett managed to stay healthy throughout 2021, appearing in all 17 games. While he is known for his ability to rush the quarterback, his run defense deserves praise. On many occasions, he owned the line of scrimmage and stopped the run, winning one-on-ones with the offensive line. Without Garrett on the field on certain snaps, the Browns struggled to stop the run.

Offensive Player of the Year: Nick Chubb

Bringing consistency and power to the Browns backfield is standard for Nick Chubb. The running back finished second in the NFL with 1,259 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns in 14 games. This production has set him on the path for one of the league’s top awards – the FedEx Ground Player of the Year – recognizing the best running backs in the league.

Chubb recorded five games with at least 100 rushing yards, tied with the second-most such games among running backs this year. He became the sixth player all-time to record at least 950 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns in each of his first four seasons.

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Demetric Felton, Jr.

He’s listed as a running back, but Demetric Felton, Jr. did most of his damage as a wide receiver in 2021, catching 18 of 21 targets for 181 yards and two touchdowns. He actually scored the first and last receiving touchdowns of the Browns season. As a rusher, he carried the ball seven times for 24 yards. As long as Chubb and Kareem Hunt are healthy, Felton’s activity might be sporadic. Expect his role to be elevated as he has a knack for making the first two defenders miss when he has the ball. That is a trait the Browns will need to utilize.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Greg Newsome II

The Browns invested in cornerback Greg Newsome II in the first round of the NFL Draft, and it paid off. His talent and contribution were recognized by Pro Football Focus. They chose him over Eric Stokes for their all-rookie team, along with fellow Brown Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. Newsome did not record an interception in his rookie season, but instead stood out in coverage. When Cleveland needed him to step up, he mirrored some of the best receivers in this league with ease.

Comeback Player of the Year/Most Improved Player: David Njoku

With 36 catches for 475 yards and four touchdowns, tight end David Njoku delivered one of his best seasons.  Those numbers are the most production he has built in a season since 2018, when he totalled over 600 yards and four touchdowns. He was first among the Browns top-five most-used receivers with a 67.9 percent catch rate, accumulated by catching 36 of 53 targets. The percentage was the highest of his careers, as was the 13.2 yards per reception.

Njoku was the receiver on the Browns longest play of the season – a 71-yard touchdown in Week 5 where he caught a pass, knocked down a defender and sprinted 50 yards to the end zone, untouched. He uses his size to stretch big gains from passes and generate blocks in the run game. Njoku elevates the offense.

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