#Browns Kevin Stefanski said they're counting on Anthony Schwartz having a big year and are excited to see what he can do this year.
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) April 30, 2022
Schwartz’s Rookie Campaign
Schwartz was a third-round pick for the Browns in 2021.
In 14 games last season, Schwartz was largely a non-factor.
He recorded 10 catches for 135 yards and one score on the ground; as a runningback, Schwartz accounted for 39 yards.
To make those numbers somehow seem less impactful, 86 of Schwartz’s total yardage came in Week One against Kansas City.
It was an early sign that the Auburn receiver could produce on the big stage.
He followed that up with, very clearly, little.
Schwartz was best known for his speed coming out of college, but his jets experienced a major failure to launch.
Add in a concussion that limited his ability to see the field and Schwartz’s rookie season was a bit of a letdown.
If that wasn’t enough, he was crushed on social media for his failure to go after an intercepted ball that led to Baker Mayfield’s shoulder injury.
Here's the Baker Mayfield interception and subsequent injury.
Seems like Anthony Schwartz gave up on his route, so it ends up being an overthrown INT.
Baker gets in on the tackle, and Justin Reid drove hard right through Mayfield's left shoulder.pic.twitter.com/20MA6sTH2b
— Billy Heyen (@BillyHeyen) September 19, 2021
Stefanski sounds like he’s giving Schwartz a do-over, though.
While the team picked up Amari Cooper in the offseason and drafted Purdue’s David Bell in the third round, the Browns could still use some help.
But can the Browns expect Schwartz to be the source of that help?
A few things are working in Schwartz’s favor.
To begin with, the receiver has the initial backing of the head coach.
Whether it’s actual “backing” or just Stefanski letting Schwartz know the clock is running is another matter.
But the fact that Stefanski is going out of his way to pump up the second-year pro to the media has to instill confidence in Schwartz.
Next, Schwartz will play with a much more talented quarterback.
Back in March, the Browns traded for Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is still facing 22 civil counts of sexual assault and harassment.
Also, as it stands, Schwartz could go out and establish himself as the team’s third-best receiver.
Cooper will be the WR1, with Donovan Peoples-Jones next in the pecking order.
But with the Browns’ tendency to play three-receiver sets, nothing is stopping Schwartz from getting more time.
Big Leap Incoming?
But as long as Schwartz still possesses the speed that made scouts fall in love with him just a year ago, he has potential.
Look for him to hopefully develop into a field-stretching receiver alongside Peoples-Jones that also allows guys like Cooper and Tight End David Njoku to thrive underneath.
Nonetheless, any leap from Schwartz would probably be a major one.
As noted, he didn’t post the craziest numbers in his rookie season.
Rather than popping off here and there, maybe Schwartz could develop into a more consistent contributor.
Tripling his numbers across the board would be a major step in that direction.