5 NFL free agents who will star on their new teams

Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons
Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

TE. Cleveland Browns. Pick Analysis. 1. player. 53. Scouting Report. Austin Hooper

With the Cleveland Browns, tight end Austin Hooper will become the superstar he was well on his way to being with the Atlanta Falcons. The former third-round pick out of Stanford spent his first four seasons in the league with the Dirty Birds, making it to Pro Bowls in his final two years. He became a reliable target for Matt Ryan and looks to do the same with Baker Mayfield in Cleveland.

Hooper is very much a volume pass catcher at tight end, as he might be the one to force David Njoku out of town in what will be the final year of his rookie deal in Cleveland. Not only will the Browns be a better-run offense under new head coach Kevin Stefanski, but they’ll feature the tight end as a huge part of the passing offense. Look no further than last year’s Minnesota Vikings.

As the Vikings offensive coordinator a season ago, Stefanski didn’t ask Pro Bowl quarterback Kirk Cousins to throw the ball over 40 times a game. They used the ground game to open up the pass, allowing the accurate signal-caller to find his reliable receiving targets in Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph. Hooper is a better version of Rudolph, so he’s in for a huge season.

Next. Teams who will regret not picking up the fifth-year option. dark

Hooper can emerge as the second-best tight end in the AFC behind only Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs now that he’s in Cleveland. Should the Browns offense run smoother under Stefanski’s guidance, Hooper becomes an unquestioned top-four tight end in football behind Kelce, the San Francisco 49ers’ George Kittle and the Philadelphia Eagles’ Zach Ertz.