The Cleveland Browns should be in the market for a tight end upgrade. Can Michigan’s Jake Butt be the upgrade the Browns need? Find out here.
As the Cleveland Browns look to upgrade their roster in the upcoming draft, a position they could target is tight end. With this being a draft filled with talented tight ends, maybe it is time to look toward the future of the position.
The present state of the position is not awful. But it could be better.
Gary Barnidge is the best tight end on the roster. Originally brought in as a blocking tight end from the Carolina Panthers, Barnidge surprised the league in 2015 with a breakout year as a receiver.
As a virtual unknown at the time, Josh McCown used Barnidge as his security blanket throughout the season. Barnidge rewarded McCown’s trust with big plays. Unfortunately, McCown and Barnidge could not replicate their magic in 2016.
The Browns invested in the tight end position in the 2016 draft by taking Seth DeValve in the fourth round. DeValve was injured heading into training camp. He made the roster but was not productive until late in the season. DeValve intrigues as an H-back but will need to improve his blocking skills to be effective.
The third tight end to contribute for the Browns was Randall Telfer. Drafted by the Ray Farmer regime, Telfer spent his rookie year on injured reserve. During his second season, he was used primarily as a blocking tight end in jumbo packages. He showed a good connection with Cody Kessler who was Telfer’s teammate in college. He has not shown any signs of being a receiving threat. His college and professional history of injuries makes him a risk to contribute long-term.
The Browns may address the tight end position with the No. 12 overall pick in the draft. Taking O.J. Howard would solidify the position for years to come. However, should the Browns be unable to draft O.J. Howard, one player they should consider would be Michigan’s Jake Butt.