3 Cleveland Browns who won’t live up to fan expectations
No. 2: Donovan Peoples-Jones Won’t Eclipse the 1,000-yard Plateau
For a former sixth-round pick back in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Browns couldn’t be happier with the production of Donovan Peoples-Jones in his first two professional seasons. In Year Three, he should take yet another leap forward, especially with Watson commanding the offense.
He nearly doubled his production in his sophomore campaign from his rookie campaign and that’s exactly what you want to see from a young player. In Year One, he caught 14 of his 20 targets for 304 yards and two touchdowns. In Year Two, he caught 34 passes on 58 targets, 597 yards, and three touchdowns.
Those numbers should continue to see a rise with Watson throwing him the rock, but that’s where DPJ might run into an issue. Should Watson be suspended for any amount of games, that means the Browns will likely utilize their rushing attack while Jacoby Brissett manages the offense.
Now, that’s not saying that Brissett isn’t fully capable of getting DPJ the ball, but Cleveland will surely rely on their two-headed monster at running back in any absence of Watson.
Peoples-Jones will likely head into the season as WR2 n the depth chart behind Amari Cooper, who was stolen from the Cowboys for a fifth-round pick earlier this offseason. What might also hurt DPJ’s numbers (a good thing for the Browns by the way) is rookie David Bell, who has a chance to be Jarvis Landry 2.0. Much like the former Brown, Bell is a possession receiver who could make an immediate impact, regardless of who is throwing him the football.
Another player to keep in mind is tight end David Njoku. He just signed a big-time extension earlier in the offseason after Austin Hooper was released. The feeling amongst Browns fans is that he is going to have a mega season and that’s not entirely out of the question. I’m not sure if he will have 1,000 yards either, but he will flirt with it, much like DPJ.
The third-year wideout will surely be in line for a bigger role within the offense, but it won’t quite be a 1,000-yard year. If I had to make a guess, I’d say it would be in the neighborhood of 800-900 yards and seven touchdowns.