CLEVELAND — If there's one thing for certain about this Cleveland Browns offense it's that it can be explosive. From quarterback Baker Mayfield and running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, to tight ends David Njoku and Austin Hooper, to the league's top offensive line and the plethora of receivers at their disposal, the Browns have something special.
Heading into the 2021 season, the Browns put a focus on bolstering the defense and added a few offensive weapons to the mix as well. It didn't seem like the offense could get any more dangerous.
With what now looks like a steal in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Browns selected versatile Demetric Felton out of UCLA in the sixth round, with their final pick.
Through training camp, Felton took reps at kick returner, wide receiver and running back.
Now, in his first year in the league, Felton has already started proving that he's more than just a training camp darling. He's the real deal.
On his opening kick return at FirstEnergy Stadium against the Houston Texans Sunday, Felton hit the ground running for a 25-yard return.
But it was his work on offense that really highlighted what he can bring to the Browns.
Using that versatility, Felton stepped in at receiver Sunday after the team saw Jarvis Landry sidelined with an MCL injury.
Targeted twice, Felton made both receptions totaling 51 yards and a touchdown. And what a touchdown it was.
In a move straight out of Madden, Felton spun around a defender attempting to tackle him, and thanks to blocking from the offensive line and players like Austin Hooper and Rashard Higgins, Felton continued into the end zone.
Fans and players alike have been waiting to see what he can do. Just before the season started, Nick Chubb said one of the things he was most excited about was seeing Felton make his NFL debut.
I asked Nick Chubb today what he's looking forward to the most heading into the #Browns regular season.— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) August 30, 2021
He gave me three answers:
1. Getting back on the field with his teammates.
2. Getting wins.
3. Seeing Demetric Felton on the field.
After the game, Chubb spoke highly of his teammate and the impact he had Sunday with his impressive offensive outing.
"It was an amazing play. He broke some tackles, made guys miss," Chubb said. "That's things that I've always known he can do and I'm glad he showed everybody here that he can do it."
Kareem Hunt, who has been working with Felton on his routes and run game, also had high praise for Felton prior to the season.
"The kid works hard," Hunt said. "I love his speed and his athleticism."
Felton isn't one to hype himself up, crediting his coaches for setting him for success.
"I just did what my coaches have coached me to do and it worked," Felton said.
Felton packs a punch wherever the Browns plug him in, and his quarterback couldn't be more excited about it.
"We said it early on, he's going to be a key in this offense just because you can kind of see bits and pieces when he was getting the ball just in his hands and that showed today on the screen play (touchdown)," Baker Mayfield said. "So we're going to continue to try and get him the ball and see how teams are going to try to defend him. He's one of those hybrid guys that creates mismatch problems. If they want to take a safety or another DB to cover him, that means one of our tight ends has a linebacker. So we have to play to our advantage, and we're lucky to have him."
Being able to use Felton in many roles is something that makes the Browns more dangerous on offense than they were in 2020, which saw them make their first playoff appearance in 17 seasons and get their first playoff win in 26 years. What the 2021 season holds for the Browns remains to be seen in the next 15 regular season games, but it's clear that Felton gives the offense -- already loaded with talent -- something extra.
Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.
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