The Cleveland Browns will boast the talents of four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper next season, but they could still use some additional help at the skill positions.
With just a few days to go before OTAs open in advance of the 2022 campaign, they are rounding out the final roster they will take with them into training camp.
The team will reportedly bring in tight end Shaun Beyer for a workout.
#Browns are hosting free agent TE Shaun Beyer for a workout today.
— James Layton (@RedZoneInsider) May 19, 2022
This is the point of the offseason where teams are signing players who could either be camp fodder or a diamond in the rough.
Beyer May Have Promise
Beyer, a 6-foot-5, 248-pound tight end, is a native of Iowa, and he was a star football and basketball player in high school who also competed in track, performing the high jump and hurdles, and played on the wrestling team.
At the University of Iowa, he started out very quietly, playing in only three games in his freshman and sophomore years combined and putting up no stats.
He didn’t get a ton of playing time the rest of the way, but when he did, he showed short flashes of brilliance.
In 2019, his junior year, Beyer appeared in five contests, and although he caught just seven passes, he tallied 117 yards on the season, which averaged out to an impressive 16.7 yards per catch.
The following year, he had 11 receptions, 158 yards and 14.4 yards per catch.
Shaun Beyer got UP.pic.twitter.com/IltOpE5rNC
— Barstool Iowa (@BarstoolUIowa) November 27, 2020
Beyer scored his only touchdown in the NCAA during his senior season in a contest against Illinois.
He wasn’t taken in the 2021 NFL Draft, but he made his way onto the roster of the Denver Broncos.
First of many, @shaun_beyer.pic.twitter.com/RkVNWQ3Pca
— Rob Donaldson (@RobDFB) August 22, 2021
After getting a bit of playing time during the exhibition season, the Broncos waived him, then added him to their practice squad, where he spent the rest of the year.
NFL analyst Lance Zierlein described Beyer as a mixed bag who does seem to have some gifts.
“Beyer was touted as a breakout candidate by Iowa staff members on multiple occasions, but he failed to truly take off,” wrote Zierlein. “Through no fault of his own, Beyer had to wait behind the likes of George Kittle, Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson and lost much of 2018 due to injury. He’s a former wideout with good athleticism and soft hands, but still needs to prove himself as a pass catcher, since there isn’t much career production. He’s a willing blocker, but fails to play with the hand grip and technique to stay connected to blocks for as long as he will need to. The 24-year-old doesn’t fit neatly into a tight end type, which could create a challenge for his NFL prospects.”
Who Will Help Cooper?
The Browns are not terribly deep or talented at either the wide receiver or tight end positions.
At wideout, they’re hoping that Donovan Peoples-Jones and Anthony Schwartz will develop into significant contributors, although thus far neither has produced a ton at the NFL level.
At tight end, David Njoku had 475 yards and four touchdowns in 2021, and there is hope that the presence of new quarterback Deshaun Watson will elevate his game this coming season.
Njoku is reportedly negotiating a contract extension with the team that could make him one of the league’s better-paid tight ends.
But with Austin Hooper gone to the Tennessee Titans, Cleveland could use some insurance behind Njoku, as well as a new prospect to develop there.
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