CANTON, Ohio- Previewing the 2017 Cleveland Browns wide receiver core. And it isn’t good.
The Cleveland Browns, on paper, have one of the worst WR groups in the entire league. This is why the Browns hope to be able to depend on the run game more. The passing game, in combination with a huge question mark at QB and no legit #1 WR, is probably their biggest weakness.
The Cleveland Browns lost Terrelle Pryor via free agency. He signed with Washington. I think Pryor will have just as good of a season this year, if not better, then he did last year with Cleveland. Better quarterback and better overall team.
The Browns went out and signed Kenny Britt, who was a free-agent. He played with the Rams last year. Cleveland is hoping he can be as productive as Pryor was. Time will tell. Injuries and dropped passes have been an issue for Britt. But, this year, Kenny will have a chance to show he is worthy of being called a top tier WR. The Browns signed him to a four-year, $32.5 million contract. Last year, Britt finished with 1,002 receiving yards. Not bad. This will be his ninth NFL season.
Corey Coleman is expected to have a much bigger impact for the Browns in his second year out of Baylor. Coleman is short, but very strong and very fast. But Corey struggled once the weather got cold. He’ll have to adjust and learn how to play in the cold. Needless to say, I’ll be paying a lot of attention to him this year. Can Coleman stay healthy?
After that, the Browns have a huge gap. Which is why I’m thinking Cleveland will be using more two tight end sets this year. Cleveland has better talent at the tight end position and more depth.
The rest of the receivers are Rashard Higgins, Ricardo Louis and Jordan Payton. Yes, there are others, but Not worth mentioning.
If the Browns can somehow get a good or great year out of both Britt and Coleman, that would be huge. But, if Higgins and Louis can improve and make themselves relevant and be a threat, the Browns would gladly take that.
All I can tell Browns fans is this. Do not hold your breath when it comes to this year’s WR core. If they do well, you should be surprised. If they struggle, that is what’s to be expected. I just don’t see it happening at this position.
The Browns had chance after chance after chance to cash in on the 2014 WR draft class which featured Sammy Watkins, Odell Beckham, Mike Evans, Kelvin Benjamin and Brandin Cooks. They didn’t take one. They’re paying for it now. Because they don’t have either one of them and now, their stuck game planning for them. And those names were just a few. There are more I could have mentioned.
Cleveland is hoping for a miracle from the wide receivers this year. Will it come true? Time will tell.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick broulis