Cleveland Browns: 5 young players who must take a big leap forward in 2021
Five young Cleveland Browns who must step up in 2021
The Cleveland Browns (rightfully) have Super Bowl aspirations for the 2021 season, and in order to reach that goal, the team will need its young players to develop. Here are five in particular who must take a step forward this year.
5. Harrison Bryant
It was a surprise to see the Browns select Harrison Bryant after making Austin Hooper the highest-paid tight end in NFL history, but we know that this front office is always in search of value, and nabbing the Mackey Award winner in the fourth round certainly seemed to be just that, even in spite of Bryant’s athletic shortcomings.
TE is one of the positions that takes the longest to develop, so it was not a surprise to see Bryant struggle as a rookie. He wasn’t bad, but was clearly third in the position room. He’s a slight 6-5 240 pounds so his blocking will be a concern until he adds more mass. Bryant is a capable route runner, but dropped two of his 37 targets and fumbled two other times.
Bryant has talent, but he must prove himself to be more reliable. The play of David Njoku in 2020 should mean that Bryant will have fewer opportunities, but with how Austin Hooper played (and his contract status), Bryant’s performance in 2021 could have ramifications for the rest of the room moving forward. For now, he will have a role given how much the offense uses tight ends, and a dependable Bryant can make some noise this season.