Cleveland Browns: 5 wildly bold predictions for the 2021 season
It’s officially Week 1 of the NFL season, so here are five bold predictions for the Cleveland Browns during the 2021 season.
The long offseason is finally over, and football fans can rejoice, as it’s officially Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season. The Cleveland Browns open their season against the Kansas City Chiefs, a Super Bowl favorite that defeated them in the AFC Divisional Round of the 2020 playoffs.
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With any new season comes new expectations, hopes for success for your favorite players and the team overall, as well as seeing players acquired during the offseason on the field for the first time. The Browns come into 2021 with higher aspirations, and have several new additions, both from free agency and the draft, that they hope will help them achieve these new goals.
Not only does the team have higher aspirations, but so do the individual players. Every player, whether they publicly admit it or not, has personal goals they wish to reach each year, whether to hit a milestone in the contract to get more money or just to keep improving as a player.
Some of their personal goals may be outlandish or bold but setting goals that are harder to reach often push these players to give their best each week.
With that being said, here are five bold predictions for the Cleveland Browns during the 2021 season.
Cleveland Browns Bold Prediction No. 5: David Njoku is the best tight end on the roster by the end of the season
The Cleveland Browns have very talented tight ends on their roster. After signing Austin Hooper to a four-year, $42 million contract prior to the 2020 season, they drafted Harrison Bryant, pairing both with David Njoku, who was already on the roster. While Hooper is listed at No. 1 on the depth chart, you can expect Njoku to be the best tight end on the roster in 2021, at least statistically.
After a great few seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, Hooper’s first year in Cleveland was a down year. Granted, a new offense that’s primary focus is running and controlling the clock likely meant his numbers were always going to be diminished, but he also just played poorly at times. He finished the season with 435 yards and four touchdowns.
Njoku didn’t see much action to begin the year, most likely because of a rift between him and the team after he demanded a trade prior to the start of the season. While he only finished the season with 19 catches and two touchdowns, he looked to be the most seasoned and athletic tight end on the roster. That fact doesn’t change in 2021.
The veteran tight end has mended the relationship with the Cleveland Browns, as he now has a new agent and wishes to sign an extension to return to Cleveland after his current deal expires at the end of this season. That, in addition to his athleticism, is why he will see more snaps and be more involved in the Browns 2021 offense.
Expect Njoku to lead all others at his position on the Browns in receiving yards and touchdowns this season. His familiarity with quarterback Baker Mayfield helps, and his improvement in run-blocking means that he is an even more valuable player to head coach Kevin Stefanski in this offense.