In Part 1 of our training camp preview on wide receivers for the Cleveland Browns, we look at Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Elijah Moore, and David Bell.
1. Amari Cooper - Starting WR
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 211 lbs | Age: 29
Experience: 9 years | College: Alabama
Amari Cooper thrived in his first season with the Browns, basically being on par with the best season of his career. He finished with 78 catches for 1,160 yards and 9 touchdowns. Much like the rest of the offense, his numbers took a slight hit during those final 6 games of the season when Deshaun Watson was trying to find his footing.
The highlight of his season came in Weeks 2-3, when he had back-to-back 100-yard efforts against the Jets and Steelers. He also had this fine snag against the New England Patriots:
What an amazing touchdown by Amari Cooper.pic.twitter.com/Lqi284Fwf5— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 16, 2022
Cooper was a solid No. 1 receiver for the Browns -- he can get separation better than anyone on the team, makes difficult catches, and should develop a great dynamic with Watson. The one criticism of Cooper? Dropped passes. Believe it or not, he nearly led the league last year with 11 drops. They would come at the most random moments too -- he would catch several tough passes, then all of a sudden drop an open one. He addressed that after the season and knows he needs to be better, but that's something that practice really can't help; it's more of a concentration thing in the heat of the moment.
Final Roster Odds: 100%
2. Donovan Peoples-Jones - Starting WR
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 204 lbs | Age: 24
Experience: 4 years | College: Michigan
I thought Donovan Peoples-Jones had an outstanding 2022 campaign. In his third season, he broke out with 61 catches for 839 yards and 3 touchdowns.
My biggest complaint during Peoples-Jones' first two seasons was that he couldn't get a ton of separation. He flipped that into a strength, though: he was the master of using his body and hauling in tightly-contested pssses. I thought the team found better ways to get him the ball on the run as the season went along too. Also, unlike Cooper, Peoples-Jones never dropped the ball, which gave quarterbacks the confidence to target him often.
The most underrated #Browns player right now:— Mac (@tha_buffalo) March 10, 2023
-1 of 10 NFL WRs in 2022 to have over 60 catches and below a 3% drop rate
-Same amount of 20yd+ catches(14) as Chase & Higgins with less targets
Quit the jokes- he’s a damn good WR2
Peoples-Jones could be a 1,000 yard receiver this year, and I think he's one of the league's best secrets. People will look at the roster and say the Browns don't have a solid No. 2 receiver, but they would be mistaken.
Final Roster Odds: 100%
3. Elijah Moore - Slot WR
Height: 5-10 | Weight: 180 lbs | Age: 23
Experience: 3 years | College: Mississippi
The Browns' big addition this offseason was Elijah Moore, who they acquired in exchange for their 2nd round pick in 2023. In exchange for that premium of a draft pick, Cleveland got a talented young receiver on a cheap contract through the 2024 season.
Moore was a second-round pick by the Jets in the 2021 NFL Draft. As a rookie, he caught 43 passes for 538 yards and 5 touchdowns in 11 games. In 2022, he caught 37 passes for 446 yards and 1 touchdown in 16 games. At one point last season, Moore reportedly requested a trade, though, out of frustration with how little he was being targeted. His frustration in New York now benefits the Browns.
The chemistry shown between Moore and Deshaun Watson has been on full display this offseason. Moore's "get off" from the line of scrimmage is very impressive too, which is going to make him have to be accounted for -- and he'll either break open, or help create openings for other players. Moore is the most exciting X-factor for the Browns' offense this offseason.
Final Roster Odds: 100%
4. David Bell - WR
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 212 lbs | Age: 22
Experience: 2 years | College: Purdue
After the Browns' top three receivers, it's hard to have a pulse on the next nine receivers. I'm inclined to list David Bell, the team's third round pick from 2022, as the next man up to be the team's No. 4 receiver. As a rookie, he caught 24 passes for 214 yards. Despite that low amount of statistical production, he played he nearly half of the team's offsensive snaps, a stat that I think would surprise people.
Bell has good size, solid hands, but doesn't light it up in terms of his measurables. To a degree, he reminds me of Peoples-Jones. Where it gets tough is when you try to play the numbers games with the Browns' receivers, which I'll get more into for Parts 2 and 3. If the Browns keep five receivers, you'd think Bell would be one of them -- but they also drafted a third-round receiver this year, and what about a speedster like Marquise Goodwin?
Final Roster Odds: 60%
Which receiver will have the better statistical season by the end of 2023?
This poll is closed