The Cleveland Browns have pulled out all the stops this offseason on both sides of the football, and that investment is predicted to pay off in a big way.
Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report on Sunday, June 4, dubbed wide receiver Elijah Moore one of this year’s top breakout candidates after the Browns traded with the New York Jets to acquire the 2021 second-round pick in March.
Beyond the obvious, the Browns lacked [explosiveness] at wide receiver beyond Amari Cooper. Donovan Peoples-Jones turned into a solid second option, but the group lacked anyone beyond Cooper to create instant separation or provide enough juice to consistently threaten opposing defenses.
As a result, general manager Andrew Berry traded a second-round pick for Elijah Moore. … Moore can shake defenders off the line of scrimmage and create in short areas. The third-year veteran also brings 4.35-second 40-yard-dash speed to the table.
Elijah Moore Gets Fresh Start With Browns After Rough Run With Jets
Moore’s natural talents are not in dispute, which is why he garnered the No. 34 overall pick in the NFL Draft two years ago.
“[Moore] has great flexibility, inside and outside flexibility,” Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said during a media session on May 31. “He can run individual routes outside and win out there. He can come into the slot and has the twitch to win in the slot as well. He has excellent hands and a good feel for the game.”
However, Moore’s production over two seasons in the league failed to live up to either the Jets’ investment in him or Van Pelt’s assessment of him. The wideout caught 44 passes for 538 yards and five touchdowns in 11 games during his rookie campaign, though all of those numbers fell off during his second season. Moore played in 16 contests last year, catching 37 passes for 446 yards and one score, per Pro Football Reference.
Frustrations bubbled over in New York amid his decline, as Moore was publicly critical of the offense before demanding a trade, which prompted the Jets to suspend him for one game.
Elijah Moore Expresses Positivity on Future With Browns
Moore fell in line in New York following his suspension, but the writing was on the wall. After the Jets traded him to Cleveland, Moore opened up about his new beginning and what it has felt like to be welcomed into the Browns organization.
“To hear that positivity as far as speaking on my name, I can’t do anything but feel blessed to be in the opportunity that I’m in right this moment,” Moore told reporters on May 24. “It feels good to be wanted, and it’s going to make any player, any human, go harder. When you feel like that and you feel like you’re around people who want you to be here — I’m going to give it all I got every single day.”
The receiver also reflected on how his struggles in New York last season have impacted him both on and off the field.
“Obstacles come, just like how I handled last year, and I feel like it only put me in a better position to go through life, let alone football, now,” Moore continued. “So from this point on, I’m looking to be a better human being, a better football player, better brother … whatever it is.”
“That season didn’t just affect football, it affected my life,” he added. “So I got to learn from it.”