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New Browns addition ‘primed for breakout season’ in 2023

Elijah Moore has all the traits to take a big step for the Browns

Cleveland Browns Offseason Workout Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

It is always very clear when the NFL offseason slows to a crawl because lists start to come out from the national media. While these lists, like power rankings and grades, have little meaning, they help provide context from those paying attention to the NFL as a whole.

Cleveland Browns fans are well-versed in what the team’s offseason has looked like and well-versed in offseason hype failing to come to fruition in the season. Around the NFL, both teams and media, the Browns season is believed to rest squarely on the shoulders of QB Deshaun Watson. For good reason.

The addition of DC Jim Schwartz and special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone cannot be ignored nor can the massive overhaul of the roster through NFL free agency and the NFL draft.

One player that doesn’t fall into “free agency addition” or “NFL draft addition” is WR Elijah Moore. Like DE Za’Darius Smith, GM Andrew Berry acquired Moore in a trade. Moving out of the second round, but picking up a third-round selection, Berry acquired the fast, shifty Moore and drafted WR Cedric Tillman, in exchange for that second-round pick.

Moore was among nine players labeled as “primed for breakout seasons” by Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report:

Donovan Peoples-Jones turned into a solid second option. But the group lacked anyone beyond Cooper to create instant separation or provide enough juice to consistently threaten opposing defenses.

Moore can shake defenders off the line of scrimmage and create in short areas. The third-year veteran also brings 4.35-second 40-yard-dash speed to the table.

Moore’s placement on the list not only comes from his ability to win quickly or on deep passes but also from his first two seasons in the league. With Zach Wilson, Joe Flacco and Mike White, throwing him passes, Moore was targeted 142 times but caught just 80 passes. Of the 62 missed targets, Moore has just three drops credited to his name.

The quarterback play with the New York Jets was abysmal for Moore.

In Cleveland, Watson is expected to be much better than he was last year when he struggled greatly in six games. Moore’s production could skyrocket not from more chances but just more accuracy from his quarterback.

With Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones leading the way, Moore has a chance to slide in as a slot receiver or outside of Cooper. Even if the Browns land DeAndre Hopkins, Moore still has a quickness and speed skillset that the other three do not have.

A breakout player needs opportunity and a role. Moore has both in Cleveland and could see his national reputation grow in 2023.