Harrison Bryant and Austin Hooper are so close in measurables it’s not even funny. Hooper is a better blocker than Bryant, mostly due to his size, but Bryant is a slightly better pass catcher due to his height and long arms. The Browns are looking for one of them, either of them, to step up and become the number one option at the position.
Frankly, Bryant did fairly well in limited action, only getting targeted 38 times as a rookie. He outpaced Hooper in game-to-game averages but Hooper had better total stats. That’s because he had more opportunities. Bryant would’ve had more yards than Hooper if all things were even and would’ve had more touchdowns too.
The lone issue limiting Bryant from getting more action than Hooper is Hooper’s contract. Well that and Hooper being a better blocker. To be fair, however, Stephen Carlson is a better blocker than Hooper, and he was only targeted twice, despite playing in every game. So clearly the Browns don’t need to throw to Hooper for him to still be an effective blocker.
Though it helps.
If Hooper goes down with an injury in 2021 as he did in 2020, or fails to standout in 2021, as he failed to in 2020, Bryant should get a lot of looks in his direction from Baker Mayfield.