The Cleveland Browns are coming off what could become one of the better drafts in franchise history. Two picks in the first round gave the team a solid addition to the secondary in Justin Gilbert and a spark of life in Johnny Manziel. Trades throughout draft weekend also gave the Browns EVEN more early draft picks in the coming seasons.
But what did the Browns forget to do? In the midst of knowing their star wide receiver Josh Gordon would likely face a year-long suspension, the Browns did NOT draft a single wide receiver. Gordon’s breakout 2013 season won’t mean anything for the Browns if he misses the entirety of 2014.
Do the Browns need to make one final offseason move to bolster the wide receiver position? Let’s take a look at who is behind Gordon on the depth chart. Here’s a complete rundown of the wide receiver situation in Cleveland. (Via ESPN)
The short version of the story is this; the Browns need wide receiver help, and they need it now. Miles Austin and Nate Burleson are much needed additions for the Browns, but they aren’t the playmaker that the Browns will need in Gordon’s absence.
The upside is that the Browns have $28 million in cap space. The downside is that the market is fairly limited this late into the summer. The Browns have money to spend on a wide receiver, but that doesn’t mean they need to rush in and sign whoever is available.
The best solution would be to sign one more role player just to add depth and focus on having a more solid running game and incorporating their new veterans. In a perfect world Gordon would star again in 2014 and the Browns would be set, but that is unlikely to happen.
It seems too late to pick up a marquee signing to replace Gordon for the season, and the Browns will just have to hope that the wide receiver committee as a whole can produce solid numbers.