Jarvis Landry was added to the Cleveland Browns in 2018 after leading the league in receptions the prior year. His play dropped off in his first season with Cleveland, as did his NFL 100 ranking this season
In need of new playmakers on offense heading into the 2018 season, the Cleveland Browns went out and made a move for Jarvis Landry. The former Miami Dolphins wideout was coming off a season that saw him lead the league with 112 receptions while scoring a career-high nine touchdowns.
Landry led the league in catches that season but struggled to gain significant yardage as he averaged just 8.8 yards per grab and had 987 total yards through the air. Even with him leading the league in receptions, the Dolphins didn’t want to give Landry a long-term deal, which led to them trading him to the Browns for a fourth and seventh-round pick.
He then agreed to a five-year, $75.5 million deal with Cleveland, $47 million of which is guaranteed. The expectations were high, and Landry was ranked accordingly by his peers as he came in at No. 52 in the annual NFL 100 Ranking.
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However, he didn’t have the same effectiveness in his first season with the Browns, which has been evidenced by the fact that Landry dropped 32 spaces to No. 84 this year. A quick glance at his numbers makes the drop seem like a bit too far as Landry still had decent stats — although he saw a drop in receptions, yardage, and touchdowns this past season — finishing with 81 catches for 976 yards and four touchdowns.
Looking deeper though, it makes plenty of sense. Landry needed 149 targets to get his 81 receptions — and that was just 12 fewer targets than he had in 2017 (with 31 fewer catches). That gave Juice a catch rate if just 54.4 percent which was by far the worst of his career.
Not only that but his quarterbacks often struggled when trying to get him the ball. CBS Sports’ Jody Smith shared a stat that showed Landry and his signal-caller struggled mightily when going against man coverage.
All this means the big drop is justified for Landry but that doesn’t mean he can’t get redemption in 2019. Sure, there are more mouths to feed this season, especially with his good friend Odell Beckham, Jr. joining the team, but that could help Landry become a more efficient player.
Landry was asked to play outside a lot more in 2018 after the team traded away Josh Gordon. With OBJ in town, he can move back to the slot which is where he really excels as a player. He likely won’t get the same amount of targets, but his catch rate and overall effectiveness should improve.
If that happens, there’s a chance he could climb higher in next season’s rankings.