The last time Cleveland Browns fans heard about Urban Meyer, there were rumors about him having strong interest in coaching in Cleveland.
As we know that role has since been filled by Kevin Stefanski.
Browns fans find themselves encountering Meyer in the news once again.
No, he doesn’t want to be a part of Stefanski’s staff.
He does believe, however, that Andrew Berry might have landed the steal of the draft in Donovan Peoples-Jones.
Urban Meyer said Donovan Peoples-Jones should've been a top 10 draft pick.
H/T @Birm pic.twitter.com/ILMGwLmt6y
— Everything Cleveland (@EverythingCLE_) April 26, 2020
Saying that a sixth-round pick should have gone within the top-10 overall is certainly a bold statement to make.
However, Meyer doesn’t tend to make outlandish media statements just for the sake of getting clicks or views.
He’s pretty honest with his analysis of the game so his praise of Peoples-Jones seems legitimate.
This adoration of Peoples-Jones began well before the two crossed paths at Michigan and Ohio State, however.
In an interview with Jeremy Birmingham of Lettermen Row, Meyer detailed how he pursued Peoples-Jones heavily as a recruit during his senior year of high school.
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”.
Not a Buckeye…
The irony, of course, comes with the fact that many fans wanted the Browns to draft K.J. Hill when they took Peoples-Jones.
The college numbers certainly favor Hill, and it’s safe to assume that there was some Buckeye bias involved with a lot of those feelings.
But bias aside, it’s not hard to see the giant skill gap between the receivers’ respective quarterbacks in Justin Fields and Shea Patterson.
Fields is far and away the better signal-caller.
It makes you wonder what Peoples-Jones could have done in Columbus instead of Ann Arbor.
Why His Stock Fell
Still, Peoples-Jones never separated as a top-tier receiver at the collegiate level despite high expectations out of high school as a 5-star recruit.
He never eclipsed 100 yards receiving in a game at Michigan and had just one multi-touchdown performance.
Additionally, he struggled catching the ball consistently at times during his career as a Wolverine.
Regardless of who’s throwing you the football, expectations will always be high as 5-star recruit.
Unfortunately, an underwhelming college career will do a number on your draft stock, as it did with Peoples-Jones.
So, is Urban right about Peoples-Jones deserving top-10 praise?
Or did he come off the board at the appropriate time.
Of course, time will tell the true answer to those questions as Browns fans await the launch of his NFL career.
But you can certainly see why he could pose a threat to NFL secondaries.
He has a big frame, standing 6’2” and weighing 208 pounds.
He’s not the fastest receiver, but he posted a top-20 time in the 40-yard dash in the combine and has plenty of quickness to suffice at the professional level.
4.48u in the 40 for @dpeoplesjones!
📺: @nflnetwork | #NFLCombine pic.twitter.com/y5anUhd0S2
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) February 28, 2020
There’s no doubt that Peoples-Jones is a physically gifted receiver, perhaps one of the most gifted in the 2020 class.
As mentioned though, an underwhelming college career creates doubt when draft season approaches.
Truthfully, him dropping should ease pressure on both himself and the Browns.
At Michigan, Peoples-Jones was constantly under the spotlight as fans continued to wait for a breakout game that never really came.
Now, most eyes are elsewhere on his team, especially in the receiver’s room.
As for Cleveland, he is just a sixth-round pick.
If he doesn’t work out, that’s fine.
Sixth-round picks are not supposed to.
If he pans out, however, Berry and friends look like geniuses.
One thing is for sure here, everyone wants Urban Meyer to be right.
Paul G says
Every year we are lulled into thinking some chosen people know how this will turn out, but nothing is written until they get on the field. He has all the talent needed to be an above average number 3-4 receiver, thats all the Browns need out of him and all that should be expected.