Let’s take our minds off of the upcoming Deshaun Watson situation and talk about a player who is going pretty much unnoticed on this Browns roster. Could this player become the Browns’ secret weapon?

Anthony Schwartz is coming off a rookie season that was somewhat of a disappointment, depending on who you ask. What Schwartz is most known for last season, is the play that injured Baker Mayfield. This play happened against the Houston Texans in Week 2. It appeared that Schwartz gave up on a pass over the middle that was out of his reach. The pass was then intercepted. On the return of the pick, Baker Mayfield tried to tackle the defender and tore his labrum on the play. All Browns fans know that play caused much of the downfall last season. Once Baker was injured, it all kind of went sideways from there. I am not saying that Schwartz caused the injury to Mayfield, but one could try to make that argument.

Schwartz’s Fit on Next Year’s Team

Anthony was the 91st pick in the draft last year, which doesn’t guarantee him any playing time. Schwartz is coming into his second year with what could either be a very small role, or he could break out and earn more playing time. This could be possible based on how well he gels with whatever quarterback will be throwing to him. The Browns are going to trot out a vastly different receiving corps than they did a year ago. No more Odell, Jarvis, or Higgins. Instead, we will see the likes of Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones, David Bell, Schwartz, and Jakeem Grant. This mostly new group means there is a lot of uncertainty about who will get playing time and who won’t. A lot of it will be determined by how the offseason goes.

Of course, most of this will depend on the receiver’s ability to complement either Deshaun Watson or Jacoby Brissett. Without getting into which QB starts the season, there is normally one wideout play style that can complement any quarterback. An outside speedster that specializes in going deep and outrunning the opposing team’s cornerback.

This play style fits Schwartz to a T. Anthony is one of the fastest players in the NFL. This is what he was known for coming out of Auburn University. As a matter of fact, the speed ratings for the newest version of Madden just came out, and Schwartz is 7th in the entire NFL for wide receivers with a speed rating of 96. This is of course just an arbitrary figure of a video game. However, one could still take away from this that Schwartz is widely viewed as one of the faster players in the league. A fast outside receiver could open things up over the middle for Amari Cooper as well. A player with Schwartz’s mold is incredibly important to an offense. Just look at what Tyreek Hill did for the Chiefs.

Prediction

Schwartz should actually open up the season last of the five aforementioned receivers in terms of playing time. I think though, that as the season progresses he will get more comfortable in his role of being a burner on the outside. I believe he could pass up Grant in playing time. He could even work his way to playing similar minutes to rookie David Bell, who is expected to have a big role this season. Anthony Schwartz could be the Cleveland Browns’ secret weapon this year. A deep ball was thrown by Watson down the sidelines to a sprinting Schwartz for the touchdown. That is something I am looking forward to seeing this upcoming season for the Browns.

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