As expected, the Cleveland Browns were rather quiet during the NFL’s trade deadline.
Still, they parted ways with wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, who had become a bit of a fan favorite after his breakout campaign in 2022.
Despite being limited to just eight catches for 97 yards this season, there was still hope he could find his level from last year, in which he logged 61 receptions for 839 yards and three scores.
But now that he’s out of the picture, Browns beat writer Scott Petrak reveals that head coach Kevin Stefanski believes that rookie Cedric Tillman is ready to pick up the slack and get an expanded role going forward.
Stefanski praised Tillman’s frame, physicality, ball skills, and work ethic.
#Browns coach Kevin Stefanski on rookie WR Cedric Tillman, who should get more PT after DPJ trade: Big, physical, good balls skills. Works very hard.
— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) November 1, 2023
Tillman was the Browns’ first player taken in this year’s draft, as they didn’t have any first or second-round picks from the Deshaun Watson trade.
The third-rounder has been held to just one reception for five yards in four appearances this season, playing a grand total of 45 snaps and not even being active since October 1.
Tillman has been a healthy scratch twice and also missed one game with an undisclosed hip injury, yet it seems like the team has seen enough from him to feel confident about his ability to slide right into Peoples-Jones’ role.
A 6-foot-3, 215-pound specimen, he’s coming off posting impressive numbers with the Tennessee Volunteers in his final season, logging 109 receptions for 1,622 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Should he fail to step up, then Marquise Goodwin and David Bell could be next in line for more touches.