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Cleveland Browns Training Camp 2023: TE Preview, Part 1

Looking at the Browns’ top three tight ends.

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

In Part 1 of our training camp preview on tight ends for the Cleveland Browns, we look at David Njoku, Jordan Akins, and Harrison Bryant.

Cleveland Browns Offseason Workout Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

1. David Njoku - Starting TE

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 246 lbs | Age: 27
Experience: 7 years | College: Miami

I’m still a huge fan of David Njoku, as are a lot of Browns fans. With that said, it’s hard to believe two things: (1) that he is entering his 7th year with the club, and (2) that his 58-catch, 628-yard, 4-touchdown performance in 2022 was basically the best of his career. Frin a well-rounded standpoint, we know that Njoku has become a solid blocker over the past few years. But with the ability and speed that Njoku has, it still seems crazy to me that he’s never had close to a 1,000-yard season, or more than 4 touchdowns in a season.

When you look around the league, it’s not as though Njoku doesn’t get respect. Pro Football Focus has him as their 10th-ranked tight end heading into the 2023 season:

Njoku was given a hefty salary last offseason, and he rewarded the Browns with the best season of his career with a 78.7 receiving grade. His 1.55 yards per route run over the past two seasons is eighth-best at the position, and he has just one fumble over that time frame.

As is the case with other players, though, does the chemistry develop with quarterback Deshaun Watson? Njoku thinks so, as he indicated during minicamp recently:

“Obviously we’re building the chemistry now and having it rollover to Week 1, so that’s very uplifting for us knowing that we’re going to have him the whole year. ... The sky’s the limit. We have an opportunity to do something that never has ever been done here. So we try to take it one day at a time, focus on what we can control and just handle it like that,”

Final Roster Odds: 100%

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

2. Jordan Akins - Rotational TE

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 245 lbs | Age: 31
Experience: 6 years | College: UCF

Despite having David Njoku and Harrison Bryant on the roster, Andrew Berry went out and signed Jordan Akins to add to the rotation of the top three tight ends. The signing of Akins is interesting because he represents a player who Deshaun Watson worked with in the past during his days with the Houston Texans.

DBN’s Barry Shuck wrote an in-depth article about Akins this offseason, which I encourage you to check out. Most recently, Akins caught 37 passes for 495 yards and 5 touchdowns, all of which were career highs. The three seasons of familiarity between he and Watson, combined with Harrison Bryant being a bit of an underachiever, makes me think that Akins will immediately be considered the second tight end.

Final Roster Odds: 100%

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

3. Harrison Bryant - Rotational TE

Height: 6-5 | Weight: 230 lbs | Age: 25
Experience: 4 years | College: Florida Atlantic

If you look at the statistical lines for Harrison Bryant from 2020-2022, they are nearly identical. Last year, he caught 31 passes for 239 yards and 1 touchdown. We are now entering Bryant’s fourth season, and his receiving ability has yet to meet my expectations. I still worry about dropped passes, fumbles, and catching the ball among traffic. He isn’t known as a standout blocker. He is serviceable.

And that is likely the reason that the team restructured his contract this offseason, even if it was only a small cap savings. Coming with that cap savings, though, was guaranteeing the money that he will make. From a roster building standpoint, it doesn’t scream that he’ll be counted on as the second tight end again, but the guaranteed money tells me that he’ll still stick around as a rotational tight end, and someone who can step in if something happens to Njoku or Akins. Otherwise, this is the final deal of Bryant’s rookie deal, so we’ll see what he can show to try sticking around for 2024 and later.

Final Roster Odds: 100%


Will David Njoku finally have a true elite/breakout statistical season?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    Yes, Pro Bowl-style!
    (123 votes)
  • 46%
    It’ll be about the same as last year
    (108 votes)
231 votes total Vote Now


Who are you viewing as the No. 2 tight end?

This poll is closed

  • 78%
    Jordan Akins
    (188 votes)
  • 21%
    Harrison Bryant
    (51 votes)
239 votes total Vote Now