With OTAs getting underway across the NFL, the Cleveland Browns added a bit of depth to their roster on Tuesday.
The team announced it had signed tight end Nakia Griffin-Stewart, a 6-foot-5, 252-pound tight end who is going into his third pro season.
We have signed TE Nakia Griffin-Stewart and waived TE Nick Guggemos
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) May 24, 2022
Receiving is an area the Browns can certainly use help and more talent in with training camp about two months away.
Austin Hooper, their starting tight end the past two seasons, has moved on to the Tennessee Titans, and other than wide receiver Amari Cooper, they don’t have any proven players who can catch the ball consistently.
Griffin-Stewart’s Journey To The Land
Griffin-Stewart was born and raised in Tenafly, N.J., a suburb of New York City just across the Hudson River, and he started his college career at Rutgers University.
At Rutgers, he didn’t post any stats as a freshman, and as a sophomore, he had 11 receptions in nine games for a total of 87 yards and one touchdown.
— Rutgers On BTN (@RutgersOnBTN) October 21, 2017
The following season, he was limited to just two games, and once it was over, he transferred to the University of Pittsburgh.
There, in his senior season, he had 19 catches in 11 games for 185 yards and a touchdown.
Griffin-Stewart wasn’t selected in the 2020 NFL Draft, but he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Minnesota Vikings.
In the last two seasons, he has had stints on the practice squads of the Green Bay Packers, New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs.
His lone appearance in an official NFL game came last season in Week 16 versus the Pittsburgh Steelers as a member of the Chiefs, during which he got onto the field for a grand total of three snaps and put up no stats.
Big Blue View, SB Nation’s site that covers the Giants, gave the following as Griffin-Stewart’s strengths and weaknesses.
– Put together a really good postseason All-Star game circuit with excellent performances in the 2020 College Gridiron Showcase & Tropical Bowl.
– Has all of the requisite tools you want at the position. Route running is above average, and shows the ability to make spectacular catches.
– He’s an above average blocker as well.
Areas of Improvement:
– Consistency is the biggest area for improvement. There’s inconsistency everywhere on film, at both Rutgers and Pitt.
– At times he’ll get too lackadaisical with his technique in blocking, and allow a defender to cross his face.
– Will have concentration drops that’ll frustrate you.
The Browns Need New Receivers To Step Up
Cooper is a four-time Pro Bowler, and Cleveland is very happy and grateful to have him, but he cannot do it alone.
With Deshaun Watson now under center, the hope is that he can make at least one of his other receivers better.
Anthony Schwartz and Donovan Peoples-Jones, both of whom are young wideouts, are players that the Browns hope will blossom very soon, especially with Watson’s ability to throw the long ball with accuracy.
David Njoku is slated to become the team’s starting tight end, and he registered 475 yards and four touchdowns last season.