3. Donovan Peoples-Jones becomes the third wideout
The Browns looked stacked at wide receiver last season thanks to Odell Beckham, Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Their two Pro Bowl talents at the position each recorded more than 1,000-yards receiving on the season, which was arguably the best receiving duo the team has had since returning to the NFL in 1999 — if not ever. The problem is, they were dangerously thin behind them.
Rashard Higgins was the third receiver talent-wise but Freddie Kitchens refused to let him get on the field much at all — even after he made a game-winning touchdown catch against the Buffalo Bills. Instead, he used Damion Ratley and KhaDarel Hodge but neither one of them stood out as great options in the passing game.
This season, there isn’t much change to the receiver’s room as OBJ and Landry return as does Higgins, Ratley, and Hodge. The one major difference is going to be the presence of rookie Donovan Peoples-Jones, who was their final pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Peoples-Jones was expected to go much earlier than he did as his talent suggests he’s an early day three pick. Unfortunately, inconsistent quarterback play hurt his overall numbers and when that was factored in along with the deep class, he ended up sliding quite a bit.
He landed in a good place though as the Browns lack of depth beyond their top two guys will give him the chance to get on the field early and often. Peoples-Jones won’t start out the season as the third wide receiver but this bold prediction is that by the end of the year, he will have surpassed Higgins and taken that role over — which is a testament to his talent since Higgins is no slouch.