Is Rashard Higgins Browns roster spot safe from Davion Davis?

Aug 22, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Davion Davis (18) signal first down during the second half against the New York Giants at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 22, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Davion Davis (18) signal first down during the second half against the New York Giants at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

Davion Davis has been so sensational this summer that he may beat out Rashard Higgins for a wide receiver position on the Browns roster.

Rashard “Hollywood” Higgins at times was the best receiver that the Cleveland Browns had last season, when Odell Beckham, Jr. went down with a knee injury and Jarvis Landry was not his normal Pro Bowl self as he struggled to play with badly bruised ribs.

Is it possible that Davion Davis has been so impressive that the Browns will be forced to keep him, along with young players that they have committed to such as Donovan Peoples-Jones and Anthony Schwartz?

If so, will they have room for Higgins as a seventh wide receiver behind OBJ, Landry, DPJ, Schwartz, KhaDarel Hodge, and Davis? Or if they cut KhaDarel Hodge, then Higgins is still only the number six wide receiver if Davis is also kept.

We’re not even counting Demetric Felton as a wide receiver, assuming that he will be assigned to the running backs room. But if we think of Felton as a slot receiver, that makes as many as eight wide receivers that the Browns consider to be NFL quality players.

This is a very tough call, especially if the Browns want to commit to four running backs, a fullback and four tight ends this season. On a few occasions, this writer has suggested that the Browns will leave summer camp with only three tight ends on the active roster, although DPD’s readers have written to disagree, with about 95% insisting that four tight ends are essential to run the two-tight-end offense of coach Kevin Stefanski and offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt. Perhaps this is so.

In any case, readers of this space were told that the Browns had added a wide receiver who could make OBJ-style circus catches, in the person of Davion Davis, who recently joined the Browns after having left the employ of the Minnesota Vikings. Davis does not have the Combine times.

He just lights it up when you throw him the ball, and he can make catches with one hand, the way OBJ does. He has now led Browns wide receivers in catches and yardage two weeks in a row.

Davion Davis was brilliant again, leading the team in receiving yardage for the second week in a row on three catches for 45 yards. There is no position for this kid on the roster, but how will the Browns keep him off the team?

His story is that he is too slow and not big enough, but throw the ball anywhere near him and he will catch it. He has made the national highlights with his touchdown catch versus Jacksonville. Also, if you have not seen it yet, check out the catch that Southland Conference calls the catch of the year. It looks like Odell Beckham, Jr., doesn’t it?

Here’s the problem. Many observers believe that Donovan Peoples-Jones is slowly advancing on the third-string wide receiver job behind OBJ and Jarvis Landry this year. By “slowly advancing,” we mean about the same rate of speed as a falling safe.

Peoples-Jones is a serious threat to take over the number three wide receiver job. Draft picks Anthony Schwartz and Demetric Felton cannot be cut unless they are first subjected to waivers, and if the Browns attempt to subject them to waivers, they will predictably be taken by another NFL team.

Related Story. Davion Davis could follow Rashard Higgins. light

Similarly, if the Browns decide to cut KhaDarel Hodge, he will become a free agent since he is a veteran. The Browns cannot just automatically assign him to the practice squad. He would have to first clear waivers, then agree to a new free-agent contract. Why would he do that?

On the other hand, the Browns cannot cut Davion Davis without first subjecting him to waivers. We cannot assume that only the Browns know about him now. The cat is out of the bag now. He is on ESPN’s SportsCenter and everywhere else making highlight-reel catches.

Even though it’s pre-season, the scouts are watching. They are not stupid. They can see Davis make these sensational catches against NFL defensive backs. Even if they are not against premier defenders, if he continues to light it up as he has for the first two exhibitions, Davis will definitely be claimed off the waiver wire by some time lacking depth at wide receiver (the Baltimore Ravens, perhaps?).

That will be the end of that. Therefore, the Browns cannot afford to just give away talent like this.

The Browns actually have talent at the bottom of the roster, and especially at the wide receiver position. This author believes in putting the 11 most talented players on the field whenever possible, and this season, three and even four of those players can be wide receivers.

It’s not like a few years ago when the only reliable players were running backs, the fullback, and tight ends. At that time I never wanted to see more than two wide receivers on the field at the same time, not because it is a faulty offense, but because the Browns had very little talent at that position.

Now things are different.

Heck, hire Mike Martz as a consultant for the four-wide-receiver spread formation. Players like Davion Davis may be the real deal and the Browns ought not gift wrap him in purple and black wrapping paper just because they are averse to multiple wide receivers on the field at the same time.

The Browns cannot hang onto Davis, Higgins, Hodge, a fourth tight end, and two fullbacks. If the Browns try to waive four of these players to hide them on the practice squad, in all probability, they are not going to clear waivers.

Next. Cleveland Browns grades Week 2 vs. Giants. dark

The cat is out of the bag now. If the other teams are not hearing it from their scouts, they are at least reading Dawg Pound Daily and they now know that kids like Davion Davis can play!