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What to expect from the Cleveland Browns in 2016

Dawgs by Nature gives us a preview of what the Cleveland Browns will look like in 2016.

NFL: Preseason-Atlanta Falcons at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2016 season fast approaching, we’re taking a look at the Cleveland Browns, who the Bengals will face twice in 2016 (as they do every year), once in Week 7 and once in Week 14. What additions have they made, what players have they lost and will they be picking first in the 2017 NFL Draft? Let’s take a look with the help of SB Nation’s Dawgs by Nature.

Notable free agent additions: QB Robert Griffin III, LB Demario Davis, LB Justin Tuggle.

Notable free agent departures: C Alex Mack, OT Mitchell Schwartz WR Travis Benjamin, LB Karlos Dansby (released), S Donte Whitner (released), QB Johnny Manziel (released).

Trades: Traded down in the 2016 NFL Draft and acquired more picks in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies:

WR Corey Coleman: The Browns desperately needed to upgrade the wide receiver position in the draft, especially after the departure of Travis Benjamin and Josh Gordon’s constant struggle to stay clean. Coleman brings a combination of athleticism and playmaking ability that Hue Jackson’s offense relies upon to succeed. Coleman will play a big part in the offense, especially in the downfield passing game.

DE Carl Nassib: The Browns’ pass rushing proved to be nonexistent in the Mike Pettine era. Jackson will partially be judged for how his staff shapes up a mediocre defense with few threats in the pass rush. Nassib is just one of several rookies (Emmanuel Ogbah, Joe Schobert, etc.) expected to bring pressure off the edge.

Biggest offseason addition:

QB Robert Griffin III: Quite a stir occurred when the Browns signed Griffin. Jackson told fans and the media to trust him on this one, though Clevelanders are still skeptical. Griffin will hold down the fort until Jackson can mold rookie QB Cody Kessler, or whatever young quarterback Jackson tries to develop into that elusive franchise quarterback. Griffin thrived in his rookie year then regressed big-time during his next few seasons. The question for him is whether or not he can regain his old form in an offense that will be crafted to his skillset.

Biggest storyline heading into the season: Everyone wants to see how Hue Jackson will bring the biggest draft class in Browns history (14 2016 draft picks) into the mix. It’s a given that the Browns will cut at least a few of the picks. The question is, which ones will the Browns cut? The only rookie assured a starting spot is Corey Coleman, though starting slots are open for rookies who seize the opportunity during the preseason.

Under-the-radar storyline heading into the season: The relationship between Hue Jackson and the front office. Jackson made the call to sign Griffin and to draft Kessler, leading some to believe the relationship between Jackson and the front office might become strained if Griffin and Kessler don’t pan out. Decisions made could cause trouble if Jackson and EVP of Football Operations Sashi Brown don’t see eye to eye. If Jackson tries to stifle the analytics department, the new restructuring of the front office will be for naught.