Cleveland Browns dud: Austin Hooper, Tight End
When the Cleveland Browns signed Austin Hooper prior to the 2020 season, it was the largest contract ever for a tight end. While that record deal has been broken since, the bad taste in every Browns fan’s mouth about that signing hasn’t, as Hooper has yet to show he deserved even half of that contract. Inconsistency, struggles with blocking, and drops have been the primary issues with Hooper in his stint with the Browns, thus far.
During Monday night’s game, Hooper decided to show off all of the reasons fans are frustrated with him to a national audience. Hooper dropped his first two targets on the night, and also allowed his blocking assignment to get by him on several rushing plays, including one drive inside of the red zone.
Hooper’s contract should be viewed as robbery, as he has yet to show anything close to the level of player he was on the Atlanta Falcons. The better tight end option is David Njoku, who is scheduled to be a free agent at the end of this season. Unfortunately, the team’s future involves Hooper, if only for the fact that there isn’t an out in his contract until after the 2022 season.
Buckle up, Browns fans, because you’re gonna be seeing a lot more of Hooper, at least for one more season.
Cleveland Browns stud: Grant Delpit, Safety
Grant Delpit has a great future ahead of him in a Cleveland Browns uniform. After the safety missed his entire rookie year due to injury, he has bounced back in a huge way, providing depth and quality play to an oft-injured defensive backfield.
Delpit’s play on Monday night stood head and shoulders above anyone else on the defense, as he finished the night with 11 tackles, including one tackle for loss. He has the athletic ability and football knowledge to play almost any position in the back seven on defense and showcased that range against the Steelers.
The future of the Browns defensive backfield is bright, so long as Delpit is there and involved in it. If he continues to grow in confidence at safety, and the rest of the defense matures around him, the team could have a top-five unit in just a few years’ time.