The Cleveland Browns had a solid 1-2 punch at wide receiver in 2022 with Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones.
That duo should continue to have success this fall with quarterback Deshaun Watson available for the entire season, but the Browns could still use another receiver, especially if the coaching staff and front office are not convinced that Anthony Schwartz, David Bell and Michael Woods II - a combined 33 receptions for 310 yards this past season - are ready to make a leap.
While the 2023 NFL Draft is expected to be a good one for wide receivers, the Browns have other additional needs and may take a look at free agency to help fill out the position room.
With that in mind, here is a look at a free agent that would fit in perfectly with Cooper and Peoples-Jones, if the Browns are willing to open up the checkbook.
Name: Jakobi Meyers
Position: Wide Receiver
Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 200 pounds
2022 Team: New England Patriots
Stats: 2022: 14 games, 96 targets, 67 receptions, 804 yards, 6 touchdowns, 38 first-down catches, 12 yards per reception
Career: 60 games, 39 starts, 344 targets, 235 receptions, 2,758 yards, 8 touchdowns, 134 first-down receptions, 11.7 yards per reception
PFF Grade: 75.6 overall, 75.8 receiving, 69.2 rushing
2022 Contract: Final year of contract, $3.986 million
Fit with the Browns
Meyers would slide right into the slot position in the Browns offense and pair nicely with wide receivers Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones when Cleveland goes with three or more wide receivers. During his time with the Patriots, Meyers has proven his value as an intermediate target and also poses a threat on seam routes. While he is not the fastest wide receiver, he runs precise routes to gain separation and catches the ball when targeted as Pro Football Focus gives him a drop rate of just 3.1 percent over the past three seasons.
Browns Player Signing Could Impact
The first name that comes to mind is wide receiver Anthony Schwartz, who has struggled to turn his raw athleticism into on-field production in his first two seasons. Having Meyers as the primary slot receiver would also take snaps away from David Bell, but he would appear to be less likely to lose a roster spot than Schwartz.
How Signing Could Impact the NFL Draft
Wide receiver is only one of the position groups that the Browns need to address in the offseason, with defensive tackle and linebacker being on the list as well. If general manager Andrew Berry decides to dip into what is expected to be a shallow pool of free-agent wide receivers, then defensive tackle would certainly put a lock on the top priority in the draft.
Medium - The Browns could use another reliable wide receiver and there is a lot to like about Meyers. The position is deeper in this year’s draft class than in free agency, and with PFF projecting a contract of four years and $64 million, with $40 million total guaranteed money, Berry may find the price a bit higher than he is willing to pay.