Cleveland Browns Roster Prediction: Tight End (4)
Early in camp, Kevin Stefanski and his staff were utilizing more three-receiver sets which was a bit surprising. Then as their camp moved along that changed as he started showing more sets with tight ends split out wide, and in the backfield. They were also moving the fullback into a receiver spot as they showed they have some plans for the big guys this season.
Austin Hooper, David Njoku, Harrison Bryant, Stephen Carlson
No. 1 on the depth chart for the Browns is going to be Austin Hooper. There’s no debate about this as they paid him a boatload of cash to come in and he’s been great in camp. He runs clean routes and has vacuums for hands. On top of that, he can hold his own in the blocking game.
It’s tempting to put Harrison Bryant as the No. 2 tight end and before the season is out, he might be there. However, the staff continues to say there are big plans for David Njoku. The former first-round pick rescinded his trade request but has struggled in camp. Still, he’s an athletic freak who can cause match-up problems, and Stefanski will surely know how to take advantage of that.
Still, it won’t be easy to keep him on the field ahead of Bryant. The fourth-round pick from Florida Atlantic has been lights out in camp. He’s making one play after another and it seems as though no day goes by without him making a headline. He could be the steal of the draft for Cleveland.
Lastly, there’s Stephen Carlson. The second-year player got some time in as a rookie in 2019 and did pretty well. It was still a limited sample size but his ability to test linebackers in the passing game gives him the edge here for the final tight end spot.