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David Bell’s separation data interesting from his rookie season

Perhaps the Browns need at receiver is overblown?

Cleveland Browns v Washington Commanders Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

There are many that believe that the Cleveland Browns need to add to their wide receiver room this offseason. Whether it is a trade for a veteran like DeAndre Hopkins or Brandin Cooks or drafting a player in the first two rounds to fill the need, fans are not content with Cleveland’s weapons.

GM Andrew Berry hasn’t ignored the position like Ray Farmer did years ago. In fact, Berry has spent a number of resources on the position since his arrival:

  • Drafted Donovan Peoples-Jones in 2020
  • Traded for Amari Cooper in 2022
  • Drafted Anthony Schwartz in 2021
  • Drafted David Bell and Michael Woods II in 2022

The two third-round selections, Schwartz and Bell, will get a lot of attention this offseason if Berry doesn’t add a bigger name to the mix. Schwartz has been mostly a bust as a third-round pick while Bell’s injury during training camp limited his impact as a rookie.

Surprisingly, the Purdue product was graded quite highly among rookies in his ability to get separation from man coverage during his first year in the league:

This best rookie and 27th overall is a pretty good start for Bell. While it is not a ton of spans, 112, man coverage is used less than a third of the time in the NFL at this point.

If Bell can be productive in the slot with Cooper and Peoples-Jones on the outside, perhaps Berry doesn’t have to spend another asset at the receiver position. Obviously, if both Bell and Schwartz started to produce like third-round picks, the Browns receiver group would become a strength very quickly.