Jarvis Landry is one of the best Cleveland Browns players, and in 2020, he’ll continue to show that.
The Cleveland Browns passing game was not operating at full tilt in 2019. Everybody and their brother, sister, mom, dad, cat and dog knows that. Okay, not everybody has all of those things, but you catch my drift.
Baker Mayfield and Cleveland’s aerial attack struggled, by and large. This upcoming campaign should be different, though. Cleveland should be vastly upgraded at both starting tackles with the arrivals of Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills Jr. And hopefully, Odell Beckham Jr. and Mayfield should be more in-sync game-to-game.
Plus, Kareem Hunt should provide much more of a consistent out-of-backfield threat for what should be a full season, if he can stay healthy. Even while David Njoku’s Cleveland future is uncertain, the Browns landing Austin Hooper should give Mayfield a great tight end threat down the seam and for high-percentage and/or mismatch-type throws.
With all that said, Mayfield’s highest-volume pass-catcher will again likely be Jarvis Landry. Even though the Browns passing offense had its issues, Landry was still highly effective.
He’s clearly one of the NFL’s best slot receivers, and is fresh off having career-bests in yards with 1,174 and in yards per catch at 14.1. He also had 83 receptions. As Browns fans would attest to, he’s a chain-mover through and through, and is highly capable after the catch.
Even taking that into consideration regarding Landry, given the presence of Hooper, Hunt more this season and with Beckham back healthy after a nagging sports hernia injury, Landry’s overall production, such as catches and yards, could dip a bit.
That wouldn’t be a knock on him, though, and Landry will still have a big impact in 2020 for the Cleveland Browns.
Stressing Landry will have a significant impact for Cleveland is not exactly a burn-the-roof-of-your-mouth-level hot take. It’s definitely not. In any case, while Landry is arguably Mayfield’s favorite target, he could seemingly have a slight production decrease in the overall sense.
Mayfield should be feeding Hooper often, and hopefully we’ll see more big chunk plays game-to-game from Beckham. Factoring in those things, and of course Cleveland still feeding Nick Chubb a bunch on top of that, Landry could feasibly have a bit of a decrease in catches and yards.
Albeit on the plus side, with him being in his third season with Mayfield, we should see Landry have a better connection target-to-target. Landry has had his two lowest catch rates with the Browns at 54.4 percent and 60.1 percent, per Pro Football Reference.
Now those lower catch rates are partly because of comparatively deeper throws than with the Miami Dolphins, to some degree. Either way, it would be nice for the Mayfield-Landry connection to be more efficient on catchable throws. With that tight end presence of Hooper helping Landry hopefully, though, and better offensive line play, it should lead to more consistency for Landry’s catch rate, in particular.
A catch rate in the realm of his career average of 65.8 percent would be a nice improvement for the five-time Pro Bowler in Landry, for example, if not a few percentage points higher. That would seem to be attainable, too, as Landry was reportedly fighting through a hip injury last season and had surgery to repair that, as DPD’s Dan Justik previously hit on, but he should be just fine for 2020.
Landry has not missed a game through six NFL seasons, for context, and Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot was right-on in seemingly believing we’ll see Landry out there Week 1. Cabot was going on if the season starts on-time at the Baltimore Ravens, regarding the novel coronavirus’ impact, for reference.
So, although Landry could have a bit of an overall production dip in 2020, look for his catch rate to increase in year three with Mayfield. Even if that dip does occur, however, Landry’s impact should still be the same for the Cleveland Browns, and again, lets just have our fingers crossed that he and Mayfield are more on the mark target-to-target.