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Free Agency

5 things to know about new Browns TE Jordan Akins

Akins will reunite with QB Deshaun Watson one year after a career-best season with the Texans


The Browns on Saturday completed their first free agent addition on the offensive side of the ball with the addition of TE Jordan Akins.

Here are five things to know about the Browns' newest tight end.

1. A career-best season in 2022

Akins, who was drafted by the Texans in the third round in 2018, had the best season of his career in 2022, setting career-highs with 495 receiving yards and a team-leading five touchdowns. He was targeted 54 times and caught 37 passes, which led all Texans tight ends.

Pro Football Focus also gave Akins a 72.4 overall grade for the season, which was the highest of his career. His 61.3 pass block grade was his highest since 2019, when it was 61.7.

2. Connection with Watson

Browns QB Deshaun Watson was the first quarterback of Akins' career for his first two seasons in 2018 and 2019. He was mostly the second tight end in the offense behind Ryan Griffin in that first season and caught 17 passes for 225 yards with no touchdowns but saw more productivity in Year 2 with Watson, catching 36 passes for 418 yards with two touchdowns.

Check out photos of TE Jordan Akins, who is joining the Browns after catching a career-best five touchdowns last year

3. Started in baseball

Akins began his college career at UCF as a football player but then changed his pro sport aspirations when he was drafted in the third round by the Rangers in the 2010 MLB Draft.

Akins spent four seasons in the minor leagues as an outfielder and batted .218 in the Rangers' farm system. He played in 321, hitting 24 home runs with 124 RBIs and stole 42 bases. He returned to UCF to pursue football again in 2014 and played in 10 games that year, catching 12 passes for 135 yards.

4. Highest TE draft pick at UCF

After suffering an injury early his sophomore season, Akins took a medical redshirt and found more production his last two years with the Knights, catching 55 passes for 862 yards and six touchdowns in his redshirt sophomore and junior seasons. That led him to becoming a third-round draft pick, which is the highest any tight end from UCF had been drafted.

5. Where he fits

Akins becomes the fourth tight end on the Browns depth chart, joining David Njoku, Harrison Bryant and Zaire Mitchell-Paden. He's the second-most experienced player in the tight end room and, at 6-foot-4 and 249 pounds, is a few pounds bigger than Njoku, who is 6-foot-4 and 249-pounds.

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