The Cleveland Browns are in the homestretch of the regular season, and saying it has been a wild ride is an understatement. They sit at 7-4 and are eyeing a playoff spot, but for to that happen, they will need some players to step up or break out.
To be blunt, the Browns pass-catchers have had major issues dropping the ball this season. Deshaun Watson, PJ Walker, and Dorian Thompson-Robinson all are at the top of the league in terms of drop percentage. That's not conducive to winning. But there's one player who could break out and help improve that ugly trend.
Rookie wide receiver Cedric Tillman hasn't seen much action this season, but in last week's loss against the Denver Broncos, he had his best game. He caught four passes on five targets for 55 yards, including one big gain for 23 yards. In addition, three of his receptions were for a first down. In a season with so many drops, Tillman made tough catches and displayed the strong hands we saw at the University of Tennessee.
Cleveland needs someone to step in a big way if they want to beat the LA Rams, who have been playing good football lately. To this point, Elijah Moore has not been as game-changing as many thought he would be. Amari Cooper has been really good and so has David Njoku, except Chief has been struggling heavily with mental drops the last few weeks. Tillman could provide a much-needed spark.
There's a good chance that veteran Joe Flacco could get the start in LA this week with DTR in the concussion protocol. Maybe Flacco can get Tillman involved early and help him have a breakout game that'll lead to a win. Tillman has a big frame and strong hands, the Browns could use a guy like him to help move the chains in key moments.
When Tillman was drafted, it was obvious that the front office thought he could be a long-term guy meant to replace someone like Donovan Peoples-Jones. With DPJ traded at the deadline, the future could be now for Tillman. Will he step up? Time will tell.