How does Harrison Bryant fit in with the Cleveland Browns in his rookie season?
The Cleveland Browns have a new regime coming in for the 2020 season with Kevin Stefanski and his staff, and a different offensive philosophy.
Along with that kind of change in offensive philosophy can often come surprising personnel changes in the NFL in general, and that proved to be the case with Cleveland in 2020.
Former first-round pick David Njoku has shown flashes of brilliance in his first few NFL seasons, but after playing in just four games last season for Cleveland, the new Browns regime decided they were not going to take any chances with such an important position in Kevin Stefanski’s offense.
Stefanski was with the Minnesota Vikings in 2019 where he utilized both Kyle Rudolph and rookie Irv Smith Jr. extremely well together, the two combining for 75 total receptions and eight touchdowns.
Even after the addition of Austin Hooper on a big-money free agent contract, there was little doubt that David Njoku would play a role yet in Stefanski’s offense as a more athletic pass-catching option.
There was little doubt, that is, until the 2020 NFL Draft.
Harrison Bryant enters the picture for Cleveland
In the fourth round, you’re not often talking about players who can come in as rookies and take jobs from former first-rounders. The case of former Florida Atlantic tight end Harrison Bryant could be a different one.
As ESPN pointed out on the 2020 NFL Draft broadcast, Bryant was the first player in college football history from a non-Power Five conference school to win the Mackey Award, and the first Florida Atlantic player ever to win a National Award.
The Mackey Award is given to the nation’s top tight end, and Bryant certainly proved himself worthy, including in games against top competition.
He caught 65 passes for 1,004 yards and seven touchdowns last year for Florida Atlantic, and comes to the Browns with a really fun background as an all-around player.
Although Bryant was probably dinged in the pre-draft process for having less-than-ideal athleticism, this is a kid who played some offensive tackle in high school and did plenty of playing both in-line and flexed out at Florida Atlantic.
His skill set is pretty ideal for Kevin Stefanski’s type of West Coast offense which will feature a lot of 12 personnel.
It’s possible that Bryant, with his particular fit in Stefanski’s offense, could come in and make Njoku even more expendable than people already thought him to be.
Don’t be shocked if Bryant is the Browns’ TE2 behind Hooper in 2020.