When you have a 1-15 football team with north of $100 million in cap space, the first place you would look during free agency is obviously a fullback. Enter Kyle Juszczyk, the most Brownsian free agent on the market.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Browns are “very interested” in free agent Juszczyk, the Medina, Ohio product who has spent the last several years with the Baltimore Ravens. But outside of being from Medina and playing a position that could conceivably serve to bolster a fledgling offense, the 25-year-old Juszczyk attended Harvard, the alma mater of a sizable portion of the Cleveland Browns’ front office.
To be fair, outside of possessing a last name that will drive local beat reporters up a wall, Juszczyk is an incredibly dynamic fullback, a new-age break from the mold of players the Browns have deployed at the position over the last several years. In addition to being a stud blocker, Juszczyk has very good hands, serving as a legitimate outlet for the short passing game and red zone. In 2014, Juszczyk scored his first NFL touchdown against the Browns in FirstEnergy Stadium. A year later, he hauled in 42 passes for 321 yards and four touchdowns—numbers that would rival most Browns receivers in the same year.1 And in 2016, while he only had five rushing attempts for the Ravens (with a touchdown), Juszczyk caught 37 passes with an average of 7.2 yards per reception.
There is a chance the Browns view the 6-1, 240-pound Juszczyk as a hybrid H-back style player, allowing Hue Jackson to move him to different spots on the field to create mismatches with opposing linebackers. The Harvard connection will obviously draw a lot of headlines, but there’s little denying Juszczyk’s ability to make the Browns a better team. The trick, of course, will be the Browns front office’s willingness to finally part with some of their available dollars.
- Brian Hartline finished with 46 catches, 523 yards and two touchdowns, for comparison. [↩]