4 biggest Cleveland Browns busts halfway through the 2023 season

The Cleveland Browns were banking on these players in 2023 but all four have come up short of expectations
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2. David Bell, Wide Receiver

In need of help at receiver, the Browns selected David Bell out of Purdue in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Known for his excellent hands, Bell produced at an incredibly high rate for the Boilermakers but slid some in the draft due to low testing numbers. Even with that being the case, Bell was solid against man coverage as a rookie and had 24 receptions for 214 yards.

He made the most of the opportunities he had and was expected to do more in 2023 now that he had a full year under his belt. But after eight weeks, he has just four receptions for 33 yards and still hasn’t recorded a touchdown in the NFL. Cleveland didn’t head into the season banking on Bell taking on a huge role but they were hopeful their aerial attack would be better.

So far, that hasn’t been the case and they’ve yet to find a true WR3 to work alongside Amari Cooper and Elijah Moore. This is true despite Cedric Tillman not locking up a spot in the rotation. Bell even remained an afterthough with Donovan Peoples-Jones hardly producing and eventually being traded to the Detroit Lions.

He does deserve some praise for making a clutch catch on fourth-and-three in Cleveland's shocking upset over the 49ers back in Week 6, but outside of that catch, he’s been lately non-existent. That was pretty much the story of his rookie season overall and has carried into the first eight games of 2023. Perhaps that changes in the second half of the season, but for now, his lack of involvement has been a letdown.