Back in 2014, the Browns found themselves a solid player after the 2014 NFL draft as they signed Taylor Gabriel out of Abilene Christian. As an undrafted rookie, not only did he make the roster but he also played in all 16 games with two starts. He was a player that offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan really liked which led to him seeing 72 targets come his way that year.
He finished with 621 yards and a touchdown, which had fans excited about his future with the team. Then Shanahan left the following season and the Browns just simply stopped using Gabriel correctly. He dropped in every statistical category but the most depressing was him falling from 17.3 yards per reception to just 8.6. To date, that 2015 season saw Gabriel record career lows in targets, receptions, yards, yards per catch, and it’s the only year that he had zero touchdowns.
Believing the problem was him, Cleveland released Gabriel who was swiftly claimed by the Atlanta Falcons — who had Shanahan as their offensive coordinator. It didn’t take long for the two to once again start to clock together as Gabriel was a huge weapon in 2016 as the Dirty Birds made it to the Super Bowl.
He had 16.5 yards per reception that year with a career-high six touchdowns — he also added another score on the ground that season. After two campaigns with Atlanta, he moved on to the Chicago Bears who gave him a four-year contract ahead of the 2018 season.
Gabriel finished his first season with the Bears by hauling in 67 receptions for 688 yards and two scores. He was a huge part of the offense and figures to continue to do so moving forward.