CLEVELAND — Entering the 2021 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns needed speed. In the third round, they got it, selecting Auburn wide receiver Anthony Schwartz with the No. 91 overall pick.
Measuring in at 6-foot-0 and 179 pounds, Schwartz is considered to have world-class speed, running a reported 4.26 40-yard dash -- the fastest of any prospect in this year's class. Appearing in 10 games for the Tigers, Schwartz tallied 54 receptions for 636 yards and three touchdowns and ranked as Pro Football Focus' No. 165 wide receiver.
While Schwartz's college production -- or lack thereof -- certainly leaves something to be desired, his undeniable speed could provide an element that was missing from the Browns' offense in 2020. After Odell Beckham Jr. suffered a season-ending injury in October, Cleveland's receiving corps noticeably lacked a downfield threat capable of keeping opposing offenses honest against a Browns running attack featuring Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
In coming to Cleveland, Schwartz joins a Browns wide receiving corps that currently includes Beckham, Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones. As a third-round pick, Cleveland will likely be counting on the 20-year-old Schwartz to make contributions as early as his rookie season, although head coach Kevin Stefanski's preference for two-tight end sets could limit the number of snaps available at wide receiver.
The selection of Schwartz marked the Browns' first offensive selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. In the first round (No. 26 overall), Cleveland selected Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome II before picking Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah in the second round (No. 52 overall).