Davone Bess Traded to Browns: How Does He Fit in Cleveland?
The Cleveland Browns gave up a fourth-round pick and a fifth-round pick to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for wide receiver Davone Bess, a fourth-round pick and a seventh-round pick. The Browns also signed the 27-year-old to a three-year contract extension.
Cleveland entered the draft without a huge hole at wide receiver, but the addition makes sense. Josh Gordon is quite clearly the team's No. 1 wide receiver, and Greg Little looks like he can be a solid No. 2. Then the problems start.
Travis Benjamin doesn't profile particularly well as a slot receiver, and Donald Nelson is nothing special either. In today's pass-oriented NFL, teams need at least three solid wide receivers. Bess gives the Browns that third option.
No one will accuse Bess of being a dynamic talent. He is, however, a consistent receiver who typically gains upwards of 700 yards in a season. In 2013, he had 61 receptions. His career low in a year for catches is 54, as a rookie, and he caught 79 in 2010.
Bess is a smart receiver who excels on third downs. Bess rarely drops the ball and, despite measuring in at just 5'10", 190 pounds, is strong and displays a willingness to fight for the ball.
Did the Browns make a good move by trading for Davone Bess?
With the ball in his hands, Bess is solid but nothing special. He will pick up some extra yards, but he won't amaze anyone.
Bess' biggest flaw, aside from his size, is his lack of deep speed. He simply is not a player who can separate downfield.
With this in mind, it's clear how the Browns will use Bess: They will have their bigger and faster receivers like Gordon, Little and Benjamin stretch the field while Bess works the underneath.
This isn't some brilliant, franchise-changing move for the Browns. Bess isn't a dynamic player, but he is a solid option who gives Cleveland some depth at wide receiver. Previously, the Browns had two unproven, albeit talented wideouts atop the depth chart. Bess is proven, and Cleveland knows what it is getting in him.
It's fair to expect 70 catches and 800 yards from Bess. He has done that in the past, and he consistently puts up numbers in that range. This will, of course, depend on the development of not only Brandon Weeden, but also of Gordon, Little and Jordan Cameron.
So, without giving up much value, Cleveland added a consistent, proven receiver who gives the team something it didn't have on the roster. That is a terrific value for the Browns, and one that could pay dividends during the 2013 season.
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