The Browns will turn to Harrison Bryant after the latest David Njoku news
The Cleveland Browns have made quite a few splashes this offseason, but one not so positive has arrived. David Njoku, the former first round tight end back in the 2017 NFL Draft, has requested a trade after three years in Cleveland. Harrison Bryant has entered the chat.
Appearing in only four games a year ago after breaking his wrist, finished his 2019 season with only five catches. Seemingly in the dog house with former head coach Freddie Kitchens and general manager John Dorsey, Njoku found himself on the end of a couple healthy scratches at the end of the season after coming off of injured reserve.
However, entering perhaps the most tight end friendly system under new head coach Kevin Stefanski, Njoku figured to play the prominent role of TE2 in Cleveland. Despite signing Pro Bowl tight end Austin Hooper this offseason, Stefanski featured two tight end sets a league-high 57 percent of the time, meaning Njoku would have seen plenty of snaps.
Who will step up for Browns in 2020?
More from With the First Pick
- 2024 NFL Draft: Prospect Viewing Guide for Week 0
- 2024 NFL Draft: All Eyes On NFL Draft Defensive Prospects
- Player Spotlight: USC Safety Calen Bullock
- 2024 Senior Bowl Watchlist Announced
- 2024 NFL Draft: Florida State is Loaded with Prospect in 2023
The Browns will need to turn to a new face to fill that role should Njoku be granted his request for a trade. With their fourth round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Browns selected Florida Atlantic tight end Harrison Bryant to fill a big slot and H-back role.
Now, Bryant may need to step up into a bigger role than originally anticipated as a rookie this season, filling the role Irv Smith Jr. played for Stefanski in Minnesota a year ago. After winning the John Mackey Award for the nation’s best tight end in 2019 for Florida Atlantic, Bryant may just be up for the task.
Who is Harrison Bryant, the newest Browns tight end?
Again, Bryant won the Mackey award, given to the nation’s top tight end. He was the first non-power five tight end to ever win the award, representing Florida Atlantic and the Conference-USA. He finished his senior season with 1,004 yards and seven touchdowns on 65 catches.
From a production standpoint, Bryant was in the upper fourth percentile in Rotoworld’s Hayden Winks’ adjusted production model, among the top of the class. Overall, Bryant was Winks’ 124th overall player, making his selection with the 115th pick pretty decent value on the FAU tight end.
After a successful senior season, Bryant received an invitation to the Reese’s Senior Bowl, competing with big named prospects from power-five schools. Holding his own, Bryant then carried his momentum into the NFL Scouting Combine where he could have had a better showing, testing as a below-average athlete.
Browns asking for day-one success from Bryant?
Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network gave his summary on Bryant coming out, and how he will be used as the TE2 seems to fit his description:
"“Harrison Bryant projects as a move piece tight end at the NFL level. Bryant doesn’t bring appealing upside to play with his hand in the dirt, but his receiving chops offer him a clear role as a flex TE and H-back to release into routes in the passing game. Bryant’s profile is one that typically requires some time to acclimate to the pro game, which tempers his value as he may likely need an incubation period to get up to speed with all the extra requirements and demands of an NFL TE (Crabbs via TDN).”"
He will likely compete with Stephen Carlson, a former undrafted free agent who emerged a year ago for the Browns, but given the new front office and head coach they may favor their guy. While the Browns may decide to keep David Njoku or allow for the leaders of the team to convince him to stay, Harrison Bryant is in position to contribute right away.