Cleveland Browns Positional Preview: Wide Receivers

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The Browns have had legendary wide receivers such as Antonio Callaway, Sammie Coates, Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline throughout the team’s storied history. Let’s take a look at the guys who look to solidify themselves as Browns greats.

WR1

We’ll start with the one, the only, Odell Beckham Jr. After spending five seasons in New York, Beckham was traded to Cleveland in exchange for Jabrill Peppers, a 2019 first round pick (Dexter Lawrence) and a 2019 third round pick (Oshane Ximines). His first season in Cleveland was underwhelming to say the least, racking up 1,035 yards and 4 touchdowns. Beckham should revert back to his old self, minus the fits and kicking net antics, after adjusting to a new playbook.

Odell Beckham
Source: Scott Piker

WR2

Odell’s running mate, the only receiver in NFL history to have caught over 100 passes and have less than 1,000 receiving yards in a season, Jarvis Landry. Landry outperformed Beckham last season because he and Baker had already established a connection during the prior season. He is a good short route and check down receiver that perfectly complements Odell Beckham Jr. The two of them together makes one of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL.

CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 10: Jarvis Landry #80 of the Cleveland Browns catches a pass for a touchdown while being defended by Levi Wallace #39 of the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 10, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

The Fight for WR3

I think that Donovan Peoples-Jones is set up perfectly to succeed as the Browns third receiver. If he had a competent quarterback throughout his college career then Peoples-Jones would’ve been a first round pick. He’s a reliable target, especially in the red zone, who was hindered by his quarterback’s inability to throw. If Baker is able to clean up his mistakes, Peoples-Jones is poised to be one of the top rookie receivers. He was a steal in the sixth round.

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The expected third man up, Rashard Higgins, has proven himself to be a productive receiver in the NFL. In 2018, he caught 39 passes for 572 yards and four touchdowns. If he’s able to replicate that season then he has the third spot locked up. Not too bad for a fifth round pick.

Finally, it’s time to address a scenario that was touched on in last week’s installment. Kareem Hunt could very well be playing more snaps lined up as a receiver than as a running back. This hasn’t been confirmed yet, but it’s been rumored that Stefanski and Van Pelt may be using him as a wild card. In Kansas City, Hunt showed his ability to be a receiver out of the backfield as well as lining up across from a cornerback. He is one of the better receiving backs in the league and we could see him a lot more than people expect.

Kansas City Chiefs
Dec 24, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) scores a touchdown during the first half against the Miami Dolphins at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Other options available

Antonio Brown: AB and Odell… on the same team? That won’t cause any problems right?

Josh Gordon: A couple weeks ago, Gordon applied for reinstatement. Gordon, still only 29 years old, has been bouncing around the league and is looking to get another ring before retirement. Could his career come full circle and bring him back to Cleveland and help bring a Lombardi to the Dawg Pound?

Dec 10, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon (12) celebrates his touchdown reception against the Green Bay Packers during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Richardson: Paul Richardson still plays football! Or at least he’s trying to. Richardson hasn’t really done much since his breakout year in Seattle back in 2017. He could be a useful piece if used the correct way but he may be on his way out of the league.

Demaryius Thomas: Thomas has bounced around and played on four teams in the last two seasons. He was still putting up numbers on the Jets but he’s nowhere near what he used to be. Thomas could be a good pickup if your second or third receiver go down.

FOXBORO MA. – AUGUST 29: Demaryius Thomas #88 of the New England Patriots throws the ball to the fans after his touchdown as the Patriots take on the Giants in the second quarter of preseason football at Gillette Stadium on August 29, 2019 in Foxboro, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

With the recent trade request of David Njoku, the tight ends edition of our Positional Preview will be delayed. Next week will be the offensive line! Make sure to check out @FPC_Browns on Twitter and check your podcasts app for the new FPC Browns Podcast! Also follow @NSwansonMedia on Twitter for more content.

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