3 potential Browns breakout stars ahead of 2024 training camp

The Cleveland Browns have a lot of young talent and these 3 players could be on the verge of breaking out in 2024.
Cleveland Browns defensive end Alex Wright
Cleveland Browns defensive end Alex Wright / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns have built a roster deep enough to win 11 games despite losing more than 10 key contributors due to injury. The 'next man up' mantra was tested as early as Week 1 and Cleveland continued to rise to the occasion.

That depth is why it's easy to believe they could have several breakout stars waiting to explode in 2024. Here we look at three prime candidates to do exactly that.

3. Cedric Tillman, WR

With Amari Cooper holding out and Jerry Jeudy dealing with a minor injury during mandatory minicamps, Cedric Tillman took advantage of the opportunity. Tillman, a third-round pick in 2023, took reps with the first team as he worked on his rapport with Deshaun Watson.

Tillman also worked diligently on pylon drills with a focus on high-pointing the ball. As a rookie, he had 224 yards on 21 receptions but didn't score a touchdown. He aims to change this in 2024 and has earned praise for the work he's done so far during the offseason.

It won't be easy for Tillman to see the field when Cooper returns. That will put him behind Cooper and Jeudy and in a battle for the WR3 spot with Elijah Moore. If he somehow comes out of that as the primary third option, this could be a huge season for the Tennessee product.

2. Alex Wright, EDGE

Another third-round pick, Alex Wright was selected out of UAB in 2022. The Browns knew he was raw due to the level of talent he faced but Wright was one of the more impressive prospects in the class.

He stands 6-foot-5 and 267 pounds, making him similar in stature to Myles Garrett. As a rookie, Wright played in 50 percent of the snaps due to necessity — which may have sped along his development. He didn't record a sack but had 28 tackles and five passes batted down at the line of scrimmage.

In year two, Wright had fewer snaps but was far more efficient. He recorded 25 tackles and five sacks while playing in just 38 percent of the snaps. Wright finished strong, recording a sack in his final four games.

Looking ahead to 2024, Wright will likely get a similar number of snaps with Ogbo Okoronkwo splitting time with him as the top rotational pass-rushers. He should also be able to take another step forward as he makes the case to be their long-term option across from Garrett.

1. Jerry Jeudy, WR

For the third year in a row, the Browns added a wide receiver via trade. This time, it was Jerry Jeudy who was a first-round pick of the Denver Broncos in 2020. For the past couple of seasons, Jeudy was rumored to be on the move and they finally shipped him to Cleveland in exchange for a pair of late-round picks.

Cleveland quickly signed Jeudy to a three-year extension, hoping he could reach his potential in their offense. There's reason to believe they'll be proven correct.

Jeudy hasn't developed into a WR1 but hasn't been the bust he's been made out to be. He has 211 receptions for 3,053 yards with 11 touchdowns in his first four years. Jeudy's best campaign was in 2021 when he recorded 972 yards and six touchdowns on 67 receptions.

Those are sold numbers for a No. 2 wideout, which is what the Browns expect him to be. An elite route-runner, Jeudy is excellent at creating separation and has been a victim of spotty quarterback play. If Deshaun Watson can stay healthy, that could change which would help Jeudy put up his best season as a pro.

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