The Cleveland Browns overhauled their offense this offseason. A lot of the players that they have relied upon in recent seasons, especially in the passing game, have moved on within the last year.
Cleveland made the decision to move on from quarterback Baker Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He will be replaced by Deshaun Watson, who still has off-the-field issues to iron out. Whoever is under center this season for the Browns will be throwing to an almost entirely new wide receiver group as well.
Facing a salary crunch, the Dallas Cowboys had to move on from wide receiver Amari Cooper. The Browns pounced, acquiring him before he hit the market following his release, where they would have had to compete with other teams to sign him.
Acquiring Cooper was definitely needed, as the Browns have moved on from several receivers. Cleveland released Odell Beckham Jr. during the 2021 season and Jarvis Landry was released this offseason. Rashad Higgins also left this offseason, signing with the Carolina Panthers.
The need still exists for a wide receiver in Cleveland heading into the draft. Behind Cooper are Donovan Peoples-Jones and Anthony Schwartz, neither of which has produced stellar wide receiver grades thus far in their career. So, the Browns could look to use some of what is left of their draft capital on a wide receiver.
One intriguing player to keep an eye on is Christian Watson of North Dakota State. Cleveland used one of their 30 official private visits on him, there is certainly interest in him as a prospect. Watson tested extremely well at the combine and possesses an excellent combination of size and speed.
There will be some questions about the step up in competition as he was a lot more talented compared to the FCS competition he faced. But, you will never have to worry about his work ethic and he would be a great fit in any NFL locker room.
The biggest concern when it comes to Watson is his propensity for drops. He had 16 on 120 catchable targets, which isn’t ideal. Hopefully, that is something they can fix at the next level and is just some concentration issues he has to work through.
But, there is a lot to like when it comes to Watson. With one second-round pick and two in the third round, Cleveland could look to pull the trigger on the Bison standout who has the look of an NFL player and possesses family pedigree as his father was a safety in the NFL, his brother played in the Big Ten and his uncle played at Marshall.