In 2021, the Cleveland Browns wide receivers had a tough time trying to create separation, and the data shows they were actually among the worst in the NFL
They also added David Bell and Michael Woods in the draft and Jakeem Grant in free agency. The hope now is that the newcomers can find a way to create more separation from defenders than the previous corps.
While it was well-known that this was an issue, Jared Mueller of Browns Wire touched on just how bad it was in 2021.
"“Overall, Cleveland’s pass catchers were third worst in the league at creating separation on routes” — Mueller, Browns Wire"
Which teams were ranked lower than the Cleveland Browns?
Cleveland came in at No. 30 with just the New York Giants and Tennessee Titans faring worse than their wideouts. Surprisingly enough, the Cincinnati Bengals were just one spot ahead of Cleveland which is surprising considering how many yards Joe Burrow put up in that offense — and how many times Ja’Marr Chase was running free behind his defender.
The positive news for the Browns is that the Dallas Cowboys had a similar problem in 2018, which was a season that saw Dak Prescott get off to a horrific start. They were able to change their fortunes with one move, which was their trade for Cooper.
With the Pro Bowler now wearing orange and brown, things should start to improve. Not only is he going to draw the best corner every week, but he will also have the attention of the opposing safety, which will help players such as Donovan Peoples-Jones, David Bell, Anthony Schwartz, and Jakeem Grant all find more room to operate.