It wasn’t much, but Rashard Higgins made a name for himself by becoming one of QB Baker Mayfield’s go-to targets over the course of the season.
Sure, Jarvis Landry led the team in receptions (81) and yards (976), but it seemed as if Higgins was always in the mix when the team needed someone to make a play.
In Mayfield’s first three games, Higgins seemed to hit a groove with the new play-caller by catching 10 passes on 12 targets for an average of 15.9 yards per catch. Higgins would suffer an untimely injury and would miss each of the next three games, all Browns losses. Once Higgins returned for the final eight weeks, he caught 23 of his 31 targets for an average of 14.26 yards per catch.
To get a better understanding on how valuable Higgins was, look at his overall season. For receivers that caught 30 or more passes, Higgins had the highest yards per catch rate at 14.7 yards. Fans all know how accurate Mayfield can be and he throws a pretty hard ball, yet Higgins also topped the team with a catch percentage of 76.7 with Mayfield as the starter.
Despite being fourth on the team in receiving yards, Higgins finished the season behind Landry in terms of receptions per game (3) and yards per game (44) among the wide receivers. If Higgins managed to stay healthy for all 16 games, his 704 yards would also be second on the team.
Many people may not see the level of production that Higgins provided this season, but with a new head coach and a good quarterback for the first time since the 90s, Higgins can provide just enough productivity to make an impact in this receiver corps.
Braylon Edwards dropped too many passes, Kellen “K2” Winslow couldn’t stay healthy and Josh “Flash” Gordon couldn’t get out of his own way. Now, we can look forward to Antonio Callway, Jarvis “Juice” Landry, “Chief” David Njoku and Rashard “Hollywood” Higgins.
For once, the future is looking bright.