Donovan Peoples-Jones is a wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns, and was drafted in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Peoples-Jones attended Cass Technical High School and was a five-star recruit. At the time of his recruitment, Peoples-Jones was thought to be the best wide receiver prospect in Michigan since 2003’s No. 2 overall pick wide receiver Charles Rogers. Peoples-Jones would commit to Michigan as a member of its 2017 recruiting class, and finished his time with the Wolverines with a college stats receiving line of 103-1327-14. He was named a Freshman All-American in 2017, and was twice named third-team All-Big Ten (2018 and 2019).
Donovan Peoples-Jones never blew away the competition during his time at Michigan, with his career-high in receiving coming during his 2018 sophomore season when he went for 47-612-8. He did post a 19.5 breakout age (75th-percentile), which puts him in good company amongst fellow wide receivers. As a rookie, Peoples-Jones left little of an impact on the Browns, finishing the 2020 season with a receiving line of 14-304-2, but he did close out that season with a solid four-game stretch when he went for 9-232-1.
Heading into the 2021 season, Peoples-Jones had some momentum after the way he closed out his rookie year. He clearly did enough to impress the coaching staff, as he saw a 63.3% snap share or higher in each of the first three weeks, and finished 44th with a 76.9% snap share. Over his last seven games of the season, Peoples-Jones had an 80.3% snap share or more in six of those seven games, and finished the season with a receiving line of 34-597-3 and was sixth in average depth of target (14.4) while ranking as the third in yards per reception (17.6). He posted double-digit points in four of his 14 games in 2021 and was ranked No. 26 with a +7.7 production premium. The Browns released wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. following their Week 8 game against the Steelers, and by Week 10 Peoples-Jones had found a significant increase in snaps. He finished the season with a 14.4% target share, and had a career-high 375 routes run. Peoples-Jones amassed 837 air yards and managed 16 deep balls and had a fantasy ranking of WR69 in fantasy points per game with 7.8. He had just four drops on the season and will come at a cheap ADP heading into next season.
During his three years in the league, Peoples-Jones has yet to breakout for the Browns, but could be in a position for a big 2023 with a full season of Deshaun Watson starting. With a 4.48 40 time and a 106.7 (87th-percentile) speed score, Peoples-Jones could stretch the field and provide some big fantasy weeks in 2023. He will have plenty of target competition with Amari Cooper and Elijah Moore playing receiver, and Njoku at tight end. DPJ's contract runs through 2023, and with the team acquiring so much receiver talent such as the aforementioned Elijah Moore and Cedric Tillman, we are likely looking at the last season of DPJ with the Browns unless he can make a lasting impression this season.