Last season didn’t go overly well for the Cleveland Browns as a whole.
However, they did have some bright spots along the way.
One of those being a few breakout performances by some young players.
Most notably, running back D’Ernest Johnson and Grant Delpit stepped up and surprised fans in 2021.
Now, it’s time to figure out which Browns are going to take the next step this upcoming season.
It’s now or never time for wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones.
The former sixth-round pick has seen limited action with the team over the last two seasons.
In 2021, Peoples-Jones saw over 50 targets in the receiving game and took advantage of it.
He finished with 34 receptions, 597 receiving yards, and three touchdowns in 14 games (nine starts) for Cleveland.
The 23-year-old has shown the ability to play well above his sixth-round status.
Holy smokes. Baker Mayfield launches a Hail Mary and Donovan Peoples-Jones comes down with it! pic.twitter.com/EucELAu2lq
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 17, 2021
Sadly, the Browns haven’t been able to see what Peoples-Jones can do as a full-time starter.
He has been buried on the depth chart, but saw more action in 2021 because of injuries.
Luckily for him, the Browns watched both Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry depart this offseason.
The Browns will be relying on Amari Cooper, rookie David Bell, and Peoples-Jones to pick up the slack next season.
Cleveland doesn’t have a ton of reliable depth behind those three receivers.
That means Peoples-Jones could be asked to play a significant role in the offense going forward.
He has shown flashes of consistent play alongside the injured Baker Mayfield in 2021.
Peoples-Jones probably won’t be a Pro Bowl player, but he can certainly contribute at a high level.
The hope is that Peoples-Jones can be a 50-reception and 800-yard player as a full-time starter.
Unlike Peoples-Jones who is an underdog story.
Linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was a second-round pick of the Browns from the 2021 draft.
The Notre Dame product put together a fairly strong rookie campaign in Cleveland.
Through 14 games, Owusu-Koramoah recorded 76 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles.
It was obvious that the Browns got a stud linebacker for years to come in Owusu-Koramoah.
— Tyler Johnson (@T_johnson_TJ) August 15, 2021
Sadly, Owusu-Koramoah didn’t get to play a full season with the Browns last year.
He appeared in 14 games, but ended up with only 10 starts for the Browns.
It’s also worth noting that he was learning a new scheme, which takes time.
Despite all that, Owusu-Koramoah still put together nearly a 80-tackle season.
Now, the 22-year-old will get a chance to be a full-time starter in 2022.
If everything goes right, Owusu-Koramoah could find himself in the Pro Bowl soon.
He is the type of player that check all the boxes and can be counted on everytime he steps on the field.
Cleveland could very well have a franchise linebacker on their hands in Owusu-Koramoah.