3 second year Cleveland Browns players ready to shine this season

Browns, Greg Newsome. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Browns, Greg Newsome. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Cleveland Browns are returning several second-year players that will have opportunities this season to showcase why they were drafted in the first place

The Cleveland Browns are entering a new stage in their franchise history where they’ve been able to develop a young and talented team after successfully drafting well over the last several years. When the Browns draft players now, they are more likely to be trying to strengthen various positions on the team. There were three players drafted last season who all had some fine moments in their initial year on the field.

Now they are returning for their second season and will be expected to produce and deliver even more. While that can be stressful to these young players I’d expect to see better play in general after a year in the league.

Let’s take a look at a few of these players and discuss what they will likely do this next season as they all could shine and help their team get back to the playoffs.

Cleveland Browns
Sep 12, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Anthony Schwartz (10) runs against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

Cleveland Browns Player No. 3 ready to shine this season: Anthony Schwartz, WR

With the departure of several prominent wide receivers from the team, Anthony Schwartz has a chance to make a name for himself this upcoming season. The second-year player was drafted last year to become that wide receiver that could break away from his defenders and use that collegiate speed he showcased while at Auburn.

In the first game of last season against the Kansas City Chiefs, Schwartz caught a deep ball that might have gone for an early touchdown, if the pass were on target. Regardless, you saw the speed and his ability to separate and stretch the field.

Cleveland worked him into the offense in other ways giving him a few jet sweeps where he could try to take the pitch and get by the defense with his quickness. He also fielded a few kickoffs during the season. He had 15 of them with an average of 21.5 yards a kickoff.

But as a receiver, he only collected 10 catches for 135 yards and one touchdown. Considering he had three receptions for 69 yards in that first game against the Chiefs that would show a player that really didn’t help very much. Some of the criticism of Schwartz was that he wasn’t picking up a lot of those vital things you need to exhibit in the NFL like accurate route running.

At the recent OTA’s, head coach Kevin Stefanski has seen some nice improvement in Schwartz’s game and is looking forward to seeing him contribute this season.

The Browns did go out and trade for veteran wide receiver Amari Cooper from the Dallas Cowboys. Cooper will be the No. 1 wide receiver but players like third-year man Donovan Peoples-Jones and Schwartz will be relied on to step up and play well.

The team also drafted Purdue wide receiver David Bell, who routinely caught everything thrown his way in college. Bell had 93 catches for 1286 yards. Schwartz wasn’t that type of wide receiver in college. He caught 56 passes for 636 yards. He was also a track member at Auburn and was looked to try to stretch the field in college too.

The learning curve is much wider for Schwartz now. He will have to step up because he has other players like Bell that will challenge him for playing time.  But if he can double on those numbers from last season at the wide receiver position, he should be a valuable contributor this season.