Kyle Prater signs with the Browns

After he wasn’t selected with any of the 256 picks in the 2015 NFL Draft, former Northwestern and USC wide receiver Kyle Prater has signed with the Browns as an undrafted free agent.

Prater, who was a top recruit coming out of Proviso West High School in Hillside, Ill., spent his final three college seasons in Evanston as a key possession receiver in Pat Fitzgerald’s offense. The 6-5, 225-pound target only had 19 completions in his sophomore and junior seasons combined but broke out in his senior campaign for 51 catches, 535 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

He went to USC for his freshman season as, according to some outlets, a top-10 player nationally, but suffered a string of unfortunate injuries that forced him to redshirt his first year on campus. Then, as a redshirt freshman, he caught just one pass for six yards before missing the rest of the season due to more injuries. That prompted his return to the Chicago area and to Northwestern.

With his big frame, Prater will always have the advantage over smaller defensive backs on jumpballs. The problem is his speed and if, at the next level, he’s going to be able to break away from his coverage and get open. That’s why someone of his clear talent, pedigree and natural size was passed over by so many teams.

Even with his shortcomings, though, the Brown might get a steal with Prater, who has a less-than-stellar wide receiving groups to fight through. His quarterback situation at NU wasn’t great and injuries hampered his once sky-high potential so maybe a change of scenery and a pro system can help Prater develop into his body and possibly be a contributor.

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