This year’s Cleveland Browns roster will look a bit different than it did in 2021.
With new faces at key positions, both sides of the ball are seeing changes.
With change comes the opportunity for new guys to step up and break out onto the scene.
An example from last year would be Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.
Cleveland’s linebacker unit had concerns heading into last season.
JOK took advantage of that and capitalized on being able to see plenty of regular season snaps as a rookie.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah played out of his mind in the 1st half. This kid is special. Here's a couple highlights. And that sack is not a designed play. JOK saw an opening to the QB and he took it. #Browns pic.twitter.com/nhPu7B6WnW
— Roberto Shenanigans (@Rob_Shenanigans) September 26, 2021
Let’s look at some guys who have a chance to take a career leap in Cleveland in 2022.
Donovan Peoples-Jones, Wide Receiver
Fans were clamoring for the Donovan Peoples-Jones emergence last season.
Unfortunately, it didn’t exactly come to fruition.
This season should be different with DPJ guaranteed to be catching passes from someone other than Baker Mayfield.
The acquisition of Amari Cooper will help alleviate some of that pressure.
Still, the Browns will be counting on production from DPJ this season.
He’s already shown he can make the big play downfield, as seen in these Twitter clips.
BAKER ➡️ PEOPLES-JONES
— Cleveland Sports Fans (@CLE_SPORTS_FANS) November 7, 2021
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
Expectations and pressure are two things DPJ will navigate this summer.
With the Browns drafting receiver David Bell out of Purdue, there’s competition for Peoples-Jones on the depth chart.
— Tyler Johnson (@T_johnson_TJ) June 14, 2022
Jacob Phillips, Linebacker
A star-studded Browns defense is back this season.
JOK burst onto the scene like a firecracker last season, and another linebacker may do the same this year.
Jacob Phillips, a third-round pick by Cleveland in 2020, had a tough 2021.
A torn biceps tendon during joint practices with the Giants in September set him behind the eight ball.
He made it back onto the field for four of the final five games, starting in just one of them.
But Cleveland fans know the upside he has.
In his final collegiate season at LSU, Phillips led the nation with 113 tackles.
He tallied 25 tackles in nine games as a rookie in 2019 and showed tremendous quickness from the linebacker spot.
Another #Browns player I’m excited to see take the next step:
3rd year vet LB Jacob Phillips
When healthy he is a sure-tackler with speed to chase down runs out to the perimeter
Missed tackle %
— Mac🦬 (@tha_buffalo) June 15, 2022
Phillips fits the mold for the modern NFL linebacker.
Big, quick, and sure-handed when it comes to wrapping up ball carriers.
If he stays healthy, expect an outstanding 2022 from Jacob.
Jordan Elliott, Defensive Tackle
Defensive tackles in Cleveland will get their chance to shine this summer.
It’s one of the more interesting spots as far as position battles for the Browns throughout training camp.
Former Missouri Tiger Jordan Elliott will be one of those names in the mix.
Defensive line coach Chris Kiffin is thoroughly impressed with Elliott so far this offseason, as noted in this cleveland.com article from Mary Kay Cabot.
“The guy I’ve been most pleased with is Jordan Elliott. Coming in, not just saying it, he’s bigger, faster, stronger. He put in the work from the time the season was over. So he looks different out here than he ever has… He’s got to have a good summer, but I think training camp, it’ll be go time for him”.
Elliott started just three games last season and logged 26 total tackles.
Other guys like Tommy Togiai and Perrion Winfrey will push him throughout camp.
There are no older veterans ahead of these youngsters on the depth chart either.
The summer will be full of competition and opportunity.
If Elliott has improved the way Kiffin claims he has, he could land a starting spot and be due for a massive 2022 season.
Back-to-back plays by 2nd year DT Jordan Elliott. He slips the block in play #1 to make the -6 yard TFL, but play #2 is more impressive. Elliott takes on a double-team, fights off both blockers and makes the tackle for no gain. Haven't seen Billings do this. #Browns pic.twitter.com/Whye256t4K
— Roberto Shenanigans (@Rob_Shenanigans) August 30, 2021