Overrated or underrated?
By Kartik Mathur
Odell Beckham Jr.
Odell had 74 receptions with the Browns being the lowest of his career till now. He had 1035 receiving yards in 2019, also again, being his lowest .With Baker Mayfield as the Brown's quarterback, Odell had a 55.6% catch rate ( ranked 90th in the league ) . One can't blame Mayfield for this, as Beckham had a TRUE catch rate of 74.7% ( ranked 92nd in the league ) He also produced only 5 redzone receptions proving to be not so effective.
Odell Beckham Jr started his career with the New York Giants, and had great success there. However he has never had a season under 1000 receiving yards till now. In 2019, he had 11 drops which was the lowest in the league. So, Odell wasn't at his peak and wasn't in the top 20 receivers of 2019. There have always been rumors about Odell wanting to play on another team, but the Browns aren't going to let him go. Jarvis Landry and Odell were the only capable receivers for the Browns, cause believe it or not, Kareem Hunt had more receiving yards then the other receivers or tight ends, and Hunt had 285 receiving yards. That's terrible.
The Browns had the opportunity of drafting Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb or even Henry Suggs III. But they drafted an offensive tackle. Though the Browns did sign tight end Austin Hooper to a 4 year $44 million deal. Odell still has good route running skills and is a good receiver but 2019 wasn't his year. All the hype for the Cleveland Browns led to nothing.
It led to a 6-10 record.
Juju Smith Schuster
Juju Smith-Schuster was far from the most efficient player with his targets, as he was 91st in the league in separation per target and 38th in the league in catch rate. Juju wasn't well balanced in 2019. He played 59.3% of his snaps in the slot, where he beat the defensive and corner backs in drag routes or slants. But when he played on the outside, he struggled to create separation. He created an average of 2.4 yards of separation, which was tied for 103rd in the league last season. In 2018, he had 111 receptions with 1426 yards, but 2019 was terrible. He had 42 receptions for 552 yards. This could have been because he played only 12 games, as he struggled with injuries. He had a concussion and a knee sprain both in week 11 in 2019. He struggled more as the season progressed, as he failed to create separation especially while facing press coverage. This forced him to make contested catches where he only caught 50% of them.
This is what a Steelers expert had to say :
"what he thinks he's worth and what they want to pay him may be far apart" - Ed Bouchette
Is he already replaced?
There is a possibilty that Juju could hit the market as he enters the final year of his contract. He's already one of the highest paid receivers in the league. The steelers might also take him of the number 1 wide receiver position. Steelers receiver Diontae Johnson had 59 receptions for 680 yards. Despite being a third-round pick in the 2019,
Johnson led all NFL receivers in separation per target with 3.6 yards of space. The Steelers also drafted Chase Claypool. Chase ran a 4.43 in the combine which proves he has the speed. He had 66 receptions for 1037 yards in his final college year. Juju Smith Schuster dropped some CRUCIAL catches, and has fumbled the ball at clutch moments... costing the Steelers from seeing the playoffs... twice.
However, Juju lost his quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and then Mason Rudolph as well. ' Big Ben ' had targeted Juju 166 times in 2018, where he caught 111 of the passes. Ben sometimes even throws about 50-60 passes in 1 game. Roethlisberger is healing from his shoulder injury, and should be ready to join the Steelers in 2020. This could change everything for Smith Schuster. 2020 is his prove it year. If Ben still drops dimes and still has the accuracy, Juju could have dynamic year. Overall, Juju did struggle from playing in spots other than the slot, but that can change just this offseason. If he stays healthy in 2020, and maybe has his star quarterback playing again, 2020 could be his year.