Browns’ Top Targets as Cleveland Eyes Veteran Jakeem Grant Replacement

Cleveland Browns

Getty Travis Benjamin #17 of the San Francisco 49ers carries the ball after a reception against the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 16, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Browns placed wide receiver and dynamic returner Jakeem Grant on injured reserve on August 10, one day after he ruptured his Achilles during a training camp practice.

Grant, 29, signed as a free agent this spring, was expected to handle return duties for the Browns and crack the lineup as a wide receiver, thanks to his game-breaking speed and agility.

However, Grant’s season is now over, and the Browns must look to replace his production both on offense as well as in the return game, less than a month before the regular season kicks off.

The Browns are looking to add a veteran wide receiver to replace Grant, multiple league sources told Heavy.

Here’s a look at the Browns’ best available options via free agency to replace Grant.

Travis Benjamin

Benjamin is potentially an ideal fit for the Browns’ needs, in Grant’s absence.

After spending last season with the San Francisco 49ers, Benjamin is fully healthy and working out in South Florida. According to league sources, several teams have shown interest in Benjamin.

A nine-year veteran, Benjamin has caught 208 passes for 3,143 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns, so far in his career. At this stage, Benjamin is primarily a return specialist, which would make him a plug-and-play fit for the Browns, while also having the kind of game-breaking speed to contribute on offense, as well.

Jalen Reagor

Reagor, the Eagles’ first-round pick out of TCU in the 2020 NFL draft, hasn’t lived up to first-round billing, and is the kind of player who could potentially benefit significantly from a change of scenery.

In the midst of arguably the strongest training camp of his career, Reagor has caught 64 passes for 695 yards and three touchdowns through his first 28 games. Last season, the Eagles worked Reagor into the return game, as well, as he averaged 7.3 yards on his 31 punt returns and 21.3 yards per return on 12 kickoffs.

According to league sources, the Denver Broncos have shown interest in Reagor, so the Browns may face competition if they’re looking to add the 23-year-old who may be turning a corner.

John Ross

If it is veteran speed the Browns are coveting in Grant’s replacement, John Ross may fit right in both on special teams and alongside Amari Cooper on offense.

The former No. 9 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft, Ross suffered a knee injury in Week 13 last season, after catching 11 of his 20 targets for 224 yards and a touchdown with the Giants. Ross’ 20.4 yards per catch average offers a glimpse of the impact he can make in the vertical passing game.

However, whether Ross can make it through a full season fully healthy remains his biggest question mark. Ross has never appeared in more than 13 games in a single season, and he was slowed by a hamstring injury before ultimately landing on injured reserve with a meniscus tear.

If the Browns are willing to take a gamble that Ross can stay healthy, there’s a chance he could make a big impact.

T.Y. Hilton

T.Y. Hilton would offer an immediate infusion of veteran leadership to the Browns’ receiving room, and after not dropping a single pass last season, he could potentially bring some much-needed stability to the passing game.

Last season, Colts quarterbacks had a 118.2 passer rating on Hilton’s 37 targets, as he hauled in 23 of them for 331 yards and three touchdowns.

Hilton has drawn interest from multiple teams, at age 32, but would like the opportunity to play for a contender. Cleveland certainly fits that bill this season, and now certainly has a need.

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