Tight End Harrison Bryant is potentially in line to have a breakout year 2 in the tight end friendly Cleveland Browns offense.
It has been well documented up to this point that Kevin Stefanski, head coach of the Cleveland Browns, loves to utilize the tight end position. This is clearly evidenced by the fact that during last offseason, the Browns went out and signed Austin Hooper in free agency and drafted Harrison Bryant in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Bryant, drafted 115th overall out of Florida Atlantic University, was a unanimous All-American and won the John Mackey Award given to the top tight end in college football during his senior year. During his rookie season, he was playing behind the aforementioned Hooper as well as veteran David Njoku.
Despite being the third-string tight end, he was still able to produce a stat line of 24 receptions, 238 yards, and three touchdowns. These aren’t stats that will blow any fan away, but given the circumstances he was in, it shows that there is potential for Bryant to produce within this offense.
Going into the 2021 season Bryant still finds himself as the third-string tight end for the Browns, at least for the time being. Previously mentioned David Njoku, former first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, has had trade rumors swirling around him over the past year and could eventually find himself being moved. If Njoku does indeed get traded, this opens the door for Bryant to step in as Hooper’s backup.
Regardless of whether Njoku gets traded or not, Bryant should still see an increase in production in his second year. Stefanski has a penchant for running two tight end sets, meaning that a combination of either Hooper, Njoku, or Bryant will be seeing the field quite often.
Mike Clay, writer, and analyst for ESPN, recently posted his player and team projections for the 2021 season. His projection for Bryant was 17 receptions, 191 yards, and 2 touchdowns. If this projection comes to fruition, that would mean that Bryant’s stats would be lower than his rookie season and he would be seeing regression in his overall production.
It’s more likely that Bryant produces either similar or better stats than he did his rookie season, given his propensity to make plays when given the opportunity and the continuity he has built with quarterback Baker Mayfield. Add to that the possibility of a David Njoku trade and Bryant could have a big second year for the Browns.