Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku has plenty of potential but hasn’t consistently shown it on the field, which Freddie Kitchens wants to change.
Most of that hype has been because of the potential that Njoku possesses. Njoku has elite athleticism that makes him difficult to defend. However, Njoku still has to clean up some of his technique to become a more reliable tight end.
Njoku has also struggled with consistency. Several times in a season Njoku will be a game changer and put together dominating performances. But other times during the season Njoku will disappear and not make much of an impact.
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Entering his third season in the NFL, the hope is that Nkoju will take his game to the next level. Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens believes that in order for Njoku to do so, he will have to become a more consistent player – via Andrew Gribble of the Browns official website.
"“We just need it every day,” Kitchens said. “Like I told you guys before, I just want to know what I am getting when we go to the field and then we can plan accordingly, but if you never know what you are going to get, then it is hard to plan. I want the same guy every day with everybody. I try to be the same person ever day. I just want everybody around me to be the same guy every day.” – Kitchens via the Browns official website"
Even without having a consistent season from Week 1 to Week 17, Njoku has played well during his first two seasons in the NFL, and he improved during his sophomore season. In 2018, Njoku caught 56 receptions for 639 yards and four touchdowns. He was a top-ten tight end in the NFL in all three categories.
One of the biggest issues Njoku had in 2018 was drops. During the first half of 2018, Njoku dropped seven passes, according to Pro Football Focus. But he showed improvement with his hands during the second half of the season, dropping only one pass in the last eight games of the season, so Njoku has shown he can rapidly develop and clean up some of his mistakes.
Since entering the NFL, Njoku has been one of the top targets for the Browns offense. Because defenses knew this, they may have game planned to limit Njoku’s effectiveness throughout the course of a game. But that will be much more difficult to do in 2019.
With the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. and the emergence of Rashard Higgins, along with Jarvis Landry, Njoku will likely be the No. 3 or No. 4 target in 2019. This will help open up the middle of the field for the tight end to make plays.
The upcoming season will be an extremely important season for Njoku. The Browns have waited for the tight end to develop, and he should have better opportunities to make plays. If he can become a more consistent player, he could emerge as a top tight end in the NFL.
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