When Eric Mangini became the Cleveland Browns head coach in the two offseasons ago, he traded tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their second round pick in the upcoming 2009 NFL Draft. With that pick the Browns selected a wide receiver out of Georgia by the name of Mohamed Massaquoi.
While he should be a household name by any true Browns fan, the league has not taken notice. The league looks at Cleveland's wide receivers as a joke and see the Browns preseason offensive success as a fluke. There is legitimate reason to disregard their opinions.
In the 2009 season, Massaquoi didn't really see much playing time the first few games compiling two receptions for 28 yards through three games. Then, like a bat out of hell, he had an outbreak in week four against a division rival, the Cincinnati Bengals, with eight receptions for 148 yards.
Once the Browns traded their number one receiver Braylon Edwards to the New York Jets before Week Five hit, Massaquoi became the Browns number one receiver. In his rookie season with only 10 career receptions after Week Four, Mohamed was heading into a game against the Browns arch rival Pittsburgh Steelers knowing he had to be a play-maker.
In that game, Massaquoi had five receptions for 83 yards and a long of 43 yards. From there, he showed some flashes of great potential against some impressive teams by NFL Analysts standards.
Week 7 vs Green Bay Packers- 1 reception for 22 yards
Week 10 vs Baltimore Ravens- 1 reception for 30 yards
Week 13 vs San Diego Chargers- 2 receptions for 24 yards, 1 Touchdown
Week 16 vs Oakland Raiders- 3 receptions for 61 yards, 1 Touchdown
Granted the Raiders aren't considered a top teams by any means, but it's still a solid game against a team who's secondary includes Nnamdi Asomugha.
Either way, Massaquoi would end the season with 34 receptions for 624 yards and three touchdowns. That's an impressive 18.4 YPR. The most promising part of Massaquoi is he did all or most of this with Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson playing quarterback, an aging Jamal Lewis at running back, and no other receiving threats sharing the field with him.
Now, with Jake Delhomme behind center, Brian Robiskie more NFL ready, and Benjamin Watson and Evan Moore at tight end, Massaquoi will have a lot more room to operate and a better quarterback capable of giving him easier balls to catch.
Not to mention that this team is in their second season under Mangini's coaching. Everything should run smoother and the play book should be easier to understand.
And may I thrown in the fact that Jerome Harrison, Peyton Hillis, and James Davis will be getting the carries this year rather than a burnt out Lewis.
Everything about the Browns offense this season will make things easier for Massaquoi and based on his rookie performance in 2009, the Browns should expect nothing less than a solid season from the sophomore receiver.
In no way am I saying expect a repeat of Miles Austin of the Dallas Cowboys, but look for Massaquoi to turn some heads in the 2010 season.