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Reviewing the WRs: Cooper, Peoples-Jones build big seasons to fuel pass game

The Browns saw consistent production from their top two receivers and could be looking to add more help to the room this offseason


The Browns are about a month removed from the 2022 season and making plans for improvements in 2023. Doing so, however, will require looking back at how each position fared, and we'll be doing that ourselves at with a comprehensive breakdown of each spot on the roster.

Next up: the WRs

The Raw Numbers

Passing offense: 218.2 (23rd in NFL)

Touchdown catches: 19 (T-19th in NFL)

Amari Cooper: 17 games, 132 targets, 78 receptions, 1,160 yards, 9 TDs

Donovan Peoples-Jones: 17 games, 96 targets, 61 receptions, 839 yards, 3 TDs

David Bell: 16 games, 35 targets, 24 receptions, 214 yards

Michael Woods II: 10 targets, 5 receptions, 45 yards

Anthony Schwartz: 11 games, 10 targets, 4 receptions, 51 yards

Daylen Baldwin: 1 game, 2 targets, 2 receptions, 25 yards

Jaelon Darden: 0 targets, 2 punt returns for 15 yards

Check out the best photos from the 2022 season by the Browns photo team

Analysis in 150 Words or Less

The Browns got every bit of production they could've hoped for from Cooper, who was acquired via trade with the Cowboys last offseason and immediately penciled in as the No. 1 receiver. Cooper's route-running and reliable hands made him the perfect weapon for QBs Jacoby Brissett and Deshaun Watson, although his production declined in the final month of the season due to a hip injury. Still, he was complemented with a career-best season from Peoples-Jones, who totaled over 50 receiving yards in seven straight games at one point during the year. The production behind them, however, was lacking as no receiver fully stepped into a No. 3 role. Bell and Woods were rookies who contributed in pieces, while Schwartz's numbers declined from his rookie season in 2021.

High Point

Both Cooper and Peoples-Jones looked excellent in the Browns' dominant Week 8 win against the Bengals. Cooper hauled in five catches for 131 yards and a touchdown while Peoples-Jones caught four passes for 81 yards. Every piece of the offense was humming in the game, and the big days from Cooper and Peoples-Jones highlighted how strong the Browns can be in the pass game when everything clicks.

Low Point

No Browns receiver turned in a good game in Week 16 against the Saints, when record-cold and windy conditions made it difficult to throw and catch the ball. Cooper led the pack with six catches for 72 yards but couldn't hang onto a pass in the end zone in the first half after he slipped on the snow and ice-covered grass. Beyond him, no Browns receiver totaled more than 18 yards in a 17-10 loss.

What They Said

"It's been cool. Scored a lot of touchdowns and made some plays. I'm really the type of player that often reflects back on the plays I didn't make. I definitely feel like I left plays out there, but that is why we practice and that is why we work hard in the offseason so we can come back the next season and be better. That is what I plan on doing." - Cooper

Who's Back for 2023?

Every receiver on the roster is under contract for next season.

2023 Outlook

The Browns appear to have a solid, but still incomplete receiver room that is among the top positions they could look to upgrade this offseason. Cooper and Peoples-Jones are two reliable pass-catchers, but the Browns could look to add more speed and give Watson a deep threat receiver. Bell is also a strong candidate to hold a bigger role in the room next season after showing some glimpses of promise as a rookie.