Every since WR Josh Gordon had a meteoric rise and fall for the Cleveland Browns, fans have been clamoring for weapons in the passing game. While the team has found good to great play at running back, receiving weapons have been few and far between. A fleeting spark from QB-turned-WR Terrelle Pryor fizzled quickly once he left the team.
All of a sudden, the Browns seem to have found the start of a great group of pass-catching weapons. With the acquisition of WR Amari Cooper, all of a sudden TE David Njoku is taking off in his sixth season and WR Donovan Peoples-Jones is properly set as the team’s second receiver.
Depth is still a concern, especially if Cooper can’t play in Week 14, but rookie WR David Bell has shown a few signs of being a quality third receiver and it is much easier to find third, fourth and fifth pass catchers than it is the top three.
One data analysis site, FiveThirtyEight, has placed all three of Cleveland’s primary pass catchers in elite status in different categories. Cooper is the team’s top receiver overall and tied for 13th overall in the entire NFL:
Perhaps even more interesting is where Njoku and DPJ rank in specific categories after being ranked 18th and 26th overall in the league. Njoku is making an impact after the catch:
Peoples-Jones, as we’ve covered in the past, is just making the catch and doing so better than anyone else in the NFL by a wide margin:
After a poor debut by QB Deshaun Watson, the Browns will need him to utilize his big three threats, along with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt out of the backfield, to compete with the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens the next two weeks.
Cleveland still needs to add to their weapons but having Cooper, DPJ and Njoku is a great starting point.