NFL Rumors: Cleveland Browns Wide Receiver Pegged for Breakout Season

The Cleveland Browns offense is finally poised for its first full season with quarterback Deshaun Watson at the helm, but they won't go far unless the surrounding talent takes a step forward, too. Luckily for the Browns, they appear to have found a diamond in the rough. According to the Athletic's Zac Jackson, recently acquired wide receiver Elijah Moore has been the star of the offseason and "is an easy pick as an early breakout candidate."

Moore joined the Browns this March via trade with the New York Jets. The former 34th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft has nabbed 80 receptions for 984 yards and six touchdowns over 27 appearances in his first two seasons in the league.

The Browns gave up a second-round pick to acquire Moore and a third-round pick, so it's no surprise they've made him a point of emphasis so far this offseason. His speedy, shifty game and slight frame should provide a solid complement to WR1 Amari Cooper and big-bodied outside presence Donvoan Peoples-Jones. As NFL teams try to diversify their receiver corps, Moore can fill a lot of holes for the Browns with his skillset.

Still, it's a quarterback's league, and the Browns' fate will ultimately rest with whether or not Watson can deliver. He was underwhelming over six games in 2022, averaging 183.7 passing yards per game at a middling 5.24 net yards per attempt, and despite his stature as a star in the league, he has yet to lead an offense to a top-10 finish in points scored.

The Browns broke the bank and endured endless scrutiny by acquiring Watson, and they'll need to do everything they can to justify their investment. A receiving corps of Cooper, Peoples-Jones, Moore, and tight end David Njoku will be a good start, and they'll be aided by a four-time Pro Bowl running back in Nick Chubb and one of the league's best offensive lines. If the Browns offense struggles again in 2023, they'll be out of excuses, and the Watson trade may go down as one of the great blunders in NFL history.

Photo Credit: © Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports