Recently, Pro Football Focus released a list of all 32 teams most underrated players heading into the 2021 campaign.
While some might be obvious, it could be tough to predict the Cleveland Browns‘ most underrated player.
They have a handful of possible candidates, but PFF decided to go with wide receiver Rashard Higgins.
They gave a strong reasoning for picking Higgins who has a fantastic connection with quarterback Baker Mayfield.
“Higgins produces over and beyond what you would expect every time he gets featured in the Cleveland Browns offense. In his two highest-volume seasons, Higgins has generated a passer rating of 122.3 and 119.2 when targeted, with the latter figure coming this past season. Baker Mayfield to Higgins is a connection that just works.”
The 26-year-old stepped up for the Browns last season after Odell Beckham Jr. went down mid-season with an ACL tear.
Higgins helped fill the void and eased the pain in the absence of Beckham.
The Browns offense seemingly didn’t miss a beat once Higgins stepped in, which is likely partly why PFF picked him as the most underrated on the roster.
The Right Choice?
The former fifth-round pick was successful with the Browns during the 2018 season.
At the time, it felt like Higgins was finally turning a corner during his third year with the Browns.
Sadly, it all fell apart during the 2020 campaign under then-coach Freddie Kitchens.
The two of them didn’t see eye-to-eye and Higgins only saw 11 targets throughout the season.
Despite that, Mayfield and Higgins have always had great chemistry on the field.
.@Browns take the lead!@BakerMayfield delivers to Rashard Higgins to put Cleveland up by 3. #BUFvsCLE
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— NFL (@NFL) November 10, 2019
In 2020, Higgins recorded 37 receptions, 599 yards, and four touchdowns in 13 games.
He took a one-year deal during the prior offseason because he wanted to prove himself in Cleveland.
Higgins reportedly had better offers elsewhere, but he bet on himself and it paid off.
Cleveland rewarded Higgins with a new contract after his strong 2020 campaign.
#Browns WR Rashard Higgins is expected to sign back with Cleveland on a 1-year deal, source said. The player they call Hollywood returns after 37 catches and 599 yards in 2020.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 18, 2021
Some other candidates for this most underrated award include Harrison Bryant, Sione Takitaki, and possibly Wyatt Teller.
Although, Teller might not be “underrated” anymore after quickly becoming one of the best guards in the league.
At the end of the day, it sounds like Pro Football Focus made the right decision by giving Higgins this accolade.
Concerned Browns Fan says
Love the work done by the good folks over at PFF. They nailed it again, picking my guy Hollywood Higgins as the most underrated Browns player. Kinda think the front office did him dirty on both of his contracts. The man has done nothing but produce when given the opportunity.
We have a really good receiving corps, but I’m not buying what the analyst sell, when saying the “team” will be better with obj. The results speak for themselves. We need to trade the man after he looks good playing a few games lol…