Cleveland Browns Bold Prediction No. 3: Donovan Peoples-Jones gets 700 yards receiving
Second-year receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones has a chance to be a real breakout candidate in this year’s offense for the Cleveland Browns. While the offense is zone-run heavy, with running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt leading the charge, working off play-action and passing on so-called “running-downs” is always a way to keep the defense off-balance.
While the top two receivers on the depth chart read Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, there’s no set order beyond those two. Even in 2020, the third receiver was a revolving door. In 2021, that door remains open, and Peoples-Jones is poised to set himself as the third receiving option in this option, helping him tally at least 700 yards receiving.
The return of OBJ should immediately help open up a passing game that struggled to find a deep threat last year. Landry was the leading receiver with 840 yards in 2020, followed by Rashard Higgins with 599 yards. This preseason, however, DPJ has shown an improved understanding of the offense, which will likely help him see significantly more snaps this season than last.
Baker Mayfield has yet to throw for 4,000 yards in his career, but this season could be his first. A healthy OBJ should get over 1,000 yards receiving. Landry is a good second option in an offense, but his numbers will likely drop a little from 2020, as younger players step up and take more significant snaps.
DPJ will become the third receiver on the team in a permanent role by the middle of the season, and as he and Mayfield continue to build on the chemistry they’ve shown this preseason, he should have a break-out year.