TE David Njoku — Cleveland Browns
Now I totally get the Browns being enamored with the talent. At 6-foot-4, 246-pounds, and running a 4.64 in the 40-yard dash, the former Miami Hurricane is a physical freak.
But the production far less matches up with the talent. In five seasons in Cleveland, he’s never recorded more than 60 catches, more than 640 yards, or had more than five TDs in a season. Njoku’s career numbers read as 148 receptions, 1,754 yards, and 15 TDs.
Just for perspective, Travis Kelce’s 1,416 yards in 2020 were the most in a single season for a TE in NFL history.
That production, however, is not all Njoku’s fault. Whether it was playing his rookie season with QBs DeShone Kizer and Kevin Hogan, having up-and-down play from Baker Mayfield under center, or one of the lower-volume passing attacks in the NFL, there have been many factors holding him back.
He also plays in an offense so balanced with running backs like Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, as well as pass-catching options like Jarvis Landry, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and fellow TE Austin Hooper.
You could argue “why tag Njoku when Hooper is making $13.25 million this season?” But when you think about it, the Browns are a heavy 12-personnel team. Since hiring Kevin Stefanski as head coach going into 2020, the Browns are one of just 10 teams to use 12 personnel on 24%, or more, of their offensive snaps in that span.
So the Browns do need him. But for that price tag? I’m not so sure about that move.