Everyone knows about the talent of Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry, but if Antonio Callaway has a breakout season the Browns’ wideouts will be amazing.
Browns fans are dreaming of a postseason run in 2019 on the strength of the team’s young talent. Specifically, Cleveland has a chance to have one of the most dangerous receiving corps in the NFL.
It’s a safe bet that the group will be really good based solely on the talents of Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry. Beckham is one of the most dynamic receivers in the game. He might turn some fans off due to his off-field antics, but once he steps between the white lines he’s a guy who strikes fear in opposing defensive backs.
Landry isn’t that intimidating, but he’s really good at what he does. He catches a ton of balls that help keep his offense moving. The former LSU star isn’t a big-play threat like Beckham, but he’s someone who can do a lot of damage in the slot. Baker Mayfield has a comfort level with Landry that shouldn’t be underestimated.
Under first-year head coach Freddie Kitchens the Browns are going to have three receivers on the field the vast majority of the time. That means someone other than Beckham and Landry needs to step up and seize the third spot. Kitchens and his coaching staff hope Antonio Callaway can be that player.
Callaway endured an up-and-down rookie campaign, but the early returns on him during OTAs are very positive. Kitchens compliments the former Florida wideout for being in better shape than he was last season. More importantly, the offensive-minded head coach believes that’s allowed Callaway to add even more “explosiveness.” That’s really bad news for defenses that will look to slow the Browns down in 2019.
Kitchens also believes that Callaway is catching the ball better than he did last year. Drops were an issue for him even when he was playing well. Despite his inconsistency, Callaway still managed to post respective receiving totals of 43 catches for 586 yards and five touchdowns.
His yards per catch average of 13.6 is really what the Browns will look to take advantage of this season. Beckham is a guy who will be double-teamed on almost every play. Landry will also command a lot of attention from the slot. That’s going to bless Callaway with a ton of single coverage on the outside.
If he’s locked in, he could have a massive year exploiting match-ups against opponents No. 2 cornerbacks. He’s not the tallest receiver in the league, but he has electric speed and really good strength. Any team that rolls their safeties over to focus on Beckham is going to risk being burned by Callaway.
It’s a big if, but if Callaway enjoys a breakout campaign in 2019 it’s easy to envision the Browns having the most productive group of wide receivers in the league. If that happens, Cleveland fans dreaming of a playoff run might finally get a chance to celebrate.