Cleveland Browns: David Njoku named breakout candidate
By Randy Gurzi
NFL Mocks released an article selecting one potential breakout star for every team in 2018. For the Cleveland Browns, that player was tight end David Njoku.
The Cleveland Browns have been a pretty popular topic this offseason, mainly because their high number of moves.
From premium draft picks, to trades and some free agent pick ups, this team looks much different in 2018 than it did in 2017. Even with all those moves, some of the best players on the team could already have been members of the Browns before this offseason.
George Stockburger of NFLMocks recently took a look at all 32 teams in the NFL and selected a player who could break out this season for each franchise. For the Browns, he highlighted tight end David Njoku.
The second-year tight end was taken in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft and played well in his rookie season. Despite a struggling offense, Njoku hauled in 32 receptions for 386 yards and four touchdowns. Those numbers may not seem like much, but when compared against some other young tight ends, they put Njoku in elite company according to Stockburger.
"“Drafted at just 20 years old, Njoku became just the fifth tight end to record 30 receptions, 300 yards at age 21 season: Tony Gonzalez, Rob Gronkowski, Jason Witten, Aaron Hernandez, and Njoku. Three of those players are Canton-bound at some point in their life.” — Stockburger, NFLMocks.com"
With better quarterback play now that Tyrod Taylor has been acquired by the Browns, there’s reason to believe this year could be much better. While in Buffalo, Taylor looked to tight end Charles Clay early and often.
As good as Clay was — more than 500-yards each season with Taylor — Njoku is a better talent with a much higher ceiling. Also helping him improve will be offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who has to know that Njoku needs to be on the field more than he was as a rookie.
According to Tyler Morales of Optimum Scouting, the Browns used the tight end on less than 50 percent of their offensive snaps in 2017.
Njoku entered the league considered an athletic freak. He’s much quicker than most tight ends and had a vertical leap at the combine of 37.5 inches. Getting the ball even close to him gives him a shot to pull it down.
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Stockburger is right on the money by selecting this young player as a potential stud in the 2018 NFL Season.