The latest Cleveland Browns reclamation project, Jaelen Strong has been showing out recently in training camp and stating his case for making the 53-man roster.
What was once considered the weak link in the chain, the Cleveland Browns wide receiver room has become one of, if not the deepest room on the team. All eleven of the wide receivers at one point or another in training camp have shown that they can play in this league. The only problem is, there will only be five or six roster spots available at that position.
Make no mistake, these are the kinds of problems that you want to have. There will be wide receivers that are cut from this team that will go on to make other team’s game-day rosters. More than likely, some will even go on to produce for their respective future teams.
Now, back to the wide receivers that will be wearing Brown and Orange. The top three receivers on this team are irrefutable. Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, and Rashard Higgins aren’t just locks to make the squad, their roster spots are engraved in stone. That leaves three spots up for grabs.
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With Antonio Callaway facing a four-game suspension entering the season, the stakes have been raised for the remaining wide receivers that are vying for those coveted roster spots. Jaelen Strong has taken full advantage of this golden opportunity. Strong has emerged as a front runner to make the 53-man roster.
In recent weeks, Strong has been turning heads in camp by making big plays when he’s been given the chance to run with the first team. He has shown that he has what it takes to not just make the roster but also be a contributor in this high-powered offense. More importantly, Strong has earned the trust of Baker Mayfield.
With all the attention that defenses will be forced to pay to Beckham and Landry, there will be ample opportunities available for those that can make big-time plays. Strong certainly fits into that category. He possesses the size and physical capabilities to go up and high point the ball. Strong has also shown the ability to lay out and make tough catches down the field. Strong adds a dynamic element to this wide receiver group that already has its share of playmakers. It’s definitely a case of the rich getting richer.
It should be stated that Strong is coming off of a year where he was out of the league due to a torn ACL. Sometimes the mental aspect of coming back from a serious knee injury is harder than the physical aspect. Based on his on-field performance, it appears Strong has passed those concerns and by all indications, he has fully recovered from the injury.
Coming into the year, Strong’s career numbers are: 31 receptions for 330 yards and four touchdowns. If Strong is able to keep himself healthy, it’s not unreasonable to think he could match those career numbers; even with a limited amount of snaps this season.
With a career resurgence in his sights, Jaelen is coming on Strong at the perfect time. Pun intended.