Browns Predicted to Draft ‘High-Ceiling’ Oregon WR Amid Uncertainty

The Athletic predicts that the Browns will draft Oregon WR Troy Franklin with their second-round pick.

Getty Images The Athletic predicts that the Browns will draft Oregon WR Troy Franklin with their second-round pick.

The Cleveland Browns don’t have a first-round draft pick, but they could still add an impact player in Troy Franklin.

Wide receiver is not a huge need for the Browns, who have Amari Cooper, Jerry Jeudy and Elijah Moore. However, Cleveland needs to start thinking about the future and the Oregon prospect makes sense for the Browns.

Franklin is coming off a strong season with the Oregon Ducks. He made 81 catches for 1,383 yards and 14 touchdowns. He can stretch the field and spend at least a year learning from Cooper, who is known as one of the best route-runners in the NFL.

The Athletic’s Zac Jackson has the Browns selecting Franklin with their second-round pick at No. 54.

“The Browns have options in this draft, and they don’t need a wide receiver. But with Amari Cooper and Elijah Moore only under contract through 2024, it would make sense that they take a shot on one — and Franklin seems to have a high ceiling. Franklin, 21, was mocked as a possible late first-round pick in December and January. But he weighed only 176 at the NFL combine (he was up to 187 at Oregon’s pro day), and it’s worth noting that he dropped more passes (nine) last season than he did in his previous two college seasons combined. Franklin needs to add strength and refine his game, but Cleveland is in position to be patient and potentially find a long-time starter.”

Troy Franklin Could Make Instant Impact for Browns

The Browns have made it a point to give quarterback Deshaun Watson all the weapons he needs to propel the passing game. Cooper, Moore and Jeudy were all acquired via trade and the Browns see a lot of upside with that trio.

But Franklin’s addition could make an instant impact for the Browns, who lack a receiver who can stretch the field. At one point, the hope was Anthony Schwartz could become that. Schwartz was cut last August. The Browns tried again with veteran Marquise Goodwin, but he was limited to just four catches last season.’s Lance Zierlein projects that Franklin will go in the second round and sees Chris Olave as his pro comparison.

“The puzzle pieces are fairly easy to put together when assessing who Franklin is and who he could be in the NFL. He’s a tall, linear receiver with good speed. He’s sudden enough to beat press but lacks the play strength to win combat catches and fight for operating space underneath. He has an innate talent for avoiding traffic and maintaining his distance from pursuit after the catch on crossing routes on all three levels. Franklin might not get WR1 target volume, but he should be productive with a high yards-per-catch average and the ability to open things up underneath for his teammates. Franklin could become a coveted complementary piece for an established WR1 or a productive vertical target for a team looking for instant help in the passing game.”

The Browns have not had much success drafting wide receivers, although some of that story is still to be written. Cedric Tillman and David Bell were both third-round picks in 2023 and 2022, respectively. Neither has found a significant role in the offense yet.

Browns Hope to Keep Amari Cooper Around Long-Term

Both Cooper and Moore are heading into the final years of their contracts. As Jackson mentions, the Browns need to consider that in the draft with someone like Franklin.

Cooper is coming off a Pro Bowl season with the Browns. He registered a career-high 1,250 yards on 72 receptions with 5 touchdowns. He will turn 30 this offseason but has shown no signs of slowing down. Cooper is also a no-nonsense pass-catcher who meshes well with the culture in Cleveland.

Cooper has been a low-maintenance, reliable star in Cleveland. The Browns would like to keep him around as long as they can.

“Look, Coop’s a Pro Bowl-caliber receiver,” Berry said, per Mary Kay Cabot of “He’s played really well for us the past two years. He’s a strong presence in the locker room. We love him. So players like that, you want to make sure that you can retain as long as possible and we’ll work through all of that at the appropriate times.”

The story is a little different for Moore. He had a career year with the Browns following the trade. Moore notched 59 catches for 640 yards. However, he’ll have to take the next step to prove to the Browns that he should stick around.

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