The Cleveland Browns are littered with talent heading into 2021.
However, sometimes teams in a “win-now” mode leave themselves in a bad position for the future.
That isn’t really the case in Cleveland though as the Browns have a plethora of young talent on the roster.
The aforementioned names are all still young but have already hit that “star” status.
There are a few names under the radar that could emerge as stars in 2022 and beyond.
1. Donovan Peoples-Jones, Wide Receiver
One of the more underrated names in the wide receiver room this year is Donovan Peoples-Jones.
He made some big plays as a rookie in 2020.
He isn’t exactly unknown to the orange and brown faithful.
Those are two expensive names though.
If Cleveland decides to move on before (or after) their current deals end, Peoples-Jones gives them needed depth to do so.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) December 6, 2020
Making tough, contested catches in the NFL is a must for receivers looking to keep their jobs.
The former Michigan standout proved he can do that with his game-winning snag in Cincinnati last season.
THE ROOKIE DONOVAN PEOPLES-JONES GAME WINNER🔥
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 25, 2020
Oh, and his run-blocking shouldn’t be forgotten either.
first play of the Browns very first drive and look at Donovan Peoples-Jones with the block! pic.twitter.com/EwMFRWAMMT
— Jordan Zirm (@JordanZirm) October 5, 2020
2. Grant Delpit, Safety
Losing Grant Delpit for his entire rookie season was a big blow to the Browns defense in 2020.
Andrew Sendejo’s season was extremely hot and cold, and with Delpit set to return, the Browns moved on from him.
Grant lost an entire season of development with the injury, so it may take a while before we see him play at his best.
Still, fans are eager to see what he can do in the defensive backfield.
Cleveland’s pass defense adds a playmaker
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) April 25, 2020
Delpit has the luxury of playing behind one of the best defensive fronts in football as well.
With a quick pass rush, the ball-hawking safety will have plenty of opportunities to create some turnovers.
Last season the Browns finished 19th in takeaways with 21.
The hopeful emergence of Delpit should help boost that number.
3. Jedrick Wills Jr., Left Tackle
The departure of Joe Thomas following the 2017-2018 season left many wondering who could ever replace the legendary Browns left tackle.
While there will never be a “true replacement”, Jedrick Wills Jr. proved he was capable of holding down the position in 2020.
The first-round pick out of Alabama played right tackle in his collegiate days.
Him switching to the left side of the line during a shortened offseason in the middle of a pandemic last summer shows how hard the guy works.
It’s paid off, too, as he was one of the best rookie tackles in the NFL last season.
QB pressure % allowed by 1st RD OTs
1. Tristan Wirfs, Bucs – 3.4%
2. Jedrick Wills Jr, Browns – 3.8%
3. Mekhi Becton, Jets – 5.4%
4. Austin Jackson, Dolphins – 8.1%
5. Andrew Thomas, Giants – 10.6% pic.twitter.com/Z6oHFiSoLk
— PFF College (@PFF_College) December 27, 2020
Wills is just 22-years old and will continue to develop under offensive line coach Bill Callahan who has done wonders for Cleveland’s offensive front.
Considering the strides he took last summer, Wills Jr. is set for an even bigger 2021 campaign.
— MoreForYouCleveland (@MoreForYou_CLE) October 13, 2020