The Browns make a move for speedy wide receiver Elijah Moore
A glimpse at Moore’s stats
The Browns on Wednesday found a way to bring a speedy, young wideout to their offense by agreeing to a trade with the Jets to acquire Elijah Moore. Moore, whose birthday is on Monday, will be 23 as he enters his third NFL season. He’s shown several glimpses of becoming a top wideout in his first two seasons and compiled 80 receptions on 142 targets for 984 yards and six touchdowns in his career. That includes 43 passes for 538 yards and five touchdowns in 11 games his rookie season.
Moore’s best trait is arguably his speed. He clocked in at 4.35 seconds in the 40-yard dash at his pro day with Ole Miss in 2021, which led him to become the 34th overall pick by the Jets. He also has strong hands and has recorded just three drops over his first two seasons.
Moore’s past success and potential for the Browns
Moore found his stride in the last six games of his rookie season and amassed 459 yards and five touchdowns in that span, including totaling 60 or more receiving yards in four of those six games and building a 141-yard performance in Week 11. His season unfortunately ended after Week 12 due to a quad injury, and he struggled to replicate those numbers in his second season when he was targeted less frequently. The Browns, though, believe they’ll be able to revive Moore’s success in an offense that has no shortage of playmakers and a talented QB capable of making throws at all levels of the field.
Moore’s experience as a slot receiver
Moore has plenty of experience working out of the slot and will likely become the Browns’ top slot option — he’s taken 348 of his 843 career passing snaps out of the slot. He was especially productive working from the inside in college at Ole Miss, too, although the Jets still split his role as both an outside and slot receiver his rookie season. Moore took 255 of 514 passing snaps (49 percent) in the slot that year. Moore is also 5-foot-10 and 178 pounds, which fits the usual build for a slot receiver — fast and nimble.
A look back at Moore’s college career
Moore was highly productive at the college level, particularly as a junior when he caught 86 passes, a program record, for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns in eight games. He was named first-team All-SEC and was a consensus first-team All-American selection that year. Moore finished his college career with 2,441 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns and was one of the top receivers available in the 2021 draft. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler ranked him as the sixth-best receiver of the draft class in his annual edition of “The Beast,” and NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah ranked him as the 26th best overall prospect of the class and fourth-best receiver.
The Browns’ long sought-after speedy wide receiver
The Browns top need of the offseason on offense was to add a speedy wide receiver, one who could not only create more deep-ball opportunities for QB Deshaun Watson but open space for WRs Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones and TE David Njoku in the middle of the field by stretching the defense.
The Browns complete their list of top playmakers
The Browns were likely already exploring adding that type of player with their second-round pick, and they instead were able to trade it to the Jets to secure a player with two years of experience and add another third-round pick in their return package. With Moore, Cleveland’s brass of top playmakers is complete, and the Browns have the rest of the offseason to create their plans for elevating Watson and improving the pass game.