The Cleveland Browns roster is loaded with young talent.
Seven of those players were drafted by the Browns in the 2020 NFL Draft.
With the exception of Grant Delpit who ruptured his Achilles in the preseason, the remaining six saw playing time in 2020.
One of those players is wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones (DPJ).
DPJ played on both offense and special teams in his first NFL season and is poised for a breakout year in 2021.
There are several factors in his favor to help him break out in 2021.
Wide Receiver Roster Is Talented But Uncertain
Going into 2020, DPJ could have been considered the fourth wide receiver on the depth chart.
There was a talented and experienced trio in front of him.
They are Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, and Rashard “Hollywood” Higgins.
With OBJ recovering from his ACL injury, the timeline for his return is unknown.
Some argue he may not return and will be traded.
To date, there has been no indications that the Browns’ front office is considering that.
Jarvis Landry, thankfully, is going nowhere and should be firing on all cylinders in 2021 because he is healthy this offseason.
Higgins is an unrestricted free agent, the same as he was last year, before signing a one year deal to stay with the Browns.
The wide receiver free agent market is saturated so it’s not clear if the Browns will re-sign Higgins or what the plan may be.
Which brings us to DPJ.
With one year of NFL experience under his belt and a developing chemistry with Baker Mayfield, the future is bright.
He could potentially be WR2 or WR3 depending on how things transpire with OBJ and Higgins.
His Skill Set
DPJ can do it all.
He is a deep threat but also a red zone target.
DPJ adds depth on special teams also.
He showed good hands and steady nerves with this clutch game-winning touchdown catch.
THE ROOKIE DONOVAN PEOPLES-JONES GAME WINNER🔥
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) October 25, 2020
The current Jacksonville Jaguars HC Urban Meyer thought DPJ was a Top 10 draft pick last year.
Instead, the Browns picked him up in the sixth round.
His comments were met with surprise and skepticism, but Meyer knows talent.
Great insight on new #Browns draft pick Donovan Peoples Jones from @CoachUrbanMeyer via @Birm pic.twitter.com/DZCXjdePxx
— Dustin Fox (@DustinFox37) April 26, 2020
“I think that guy should be a top-10 pick”, Meyer says in the video.
“In high school, Donovan was one of the best receivers I’ve ever seen”.
A Regular Preseason
The regular preseason schedule will help all of the rookies not just DPJ.
In his case, if he is more involved in the offense, he will have more practice time with Mayfield and the first team.
His role in the 2021 offense should be larger.
When he had opportunities in 2020, he consistently converted.
He was targeted 20 times last season and caught 14 of the passes for 304 yards and 2 TDs.
DPJ caught 2 of 3 passes targeted for him in the playoffs.
Not only is DPJ an accomplished football player, but he is also a well-rounded person.
He is focused on football but has admirable off-the-field goals also.
@BrettKollmann ever track down why Donovan Peoples-Jones fell to the 6th? I follow the team as closely as anybody and the most I ever heard about off-field distractions is he volunteered at the hospital a lot because he's interested in becoming a doctor when football's over.
— Seth M. Fisher (@Misopogon) May 7, 2020
Donovan Peoples-Jones is an exciting young player whose career trajectory will be fun to watch in 2021.
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