Plenty Remains To Be Seen
After years of neglecting the wide receiver position, Sashi Brown made sure the Cleveland Browns addressed the position in the 2016 NFL Draft. They might have gone a bit overboard, but in today’s NFL five wide receiver sets are common.
It is not as much of a stretch to take multiple wideouts with different heights and skill sets. Plus, it is not like there are any receivers on the roster heading into the draft that were considered to be untouchable.
After all, the only first-round wideout the Cleveland Browns have taken since 1999 was Braylon Edwards. While his impact was short-lived, there is no doubt that the 2007 season was magical in part because of his impact on the field. Had Derek Anderson not fallen apart and Brady Quinn not failed, who knows where Edwards’ career might have gone.
That said, former Baylor Bear Corey Coleman might be a comparable player to the former Michigan wideout. While he does not have the same height (5’11 vs 6’4), Coleman has the breakaway speed and will pose a deep threat option for the Browns.
Then much like Edwards, Coleman’s route running is questionable and his hands are a bit shaky. It is going to be interesting to see how Coleman develops. He is the same size as Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown and New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr., so the comparisons are often set there.
Coleman was not the wideout I wanted in the draft, as I wanted Laquon Treadwell or Josh Doctson, but the more I read about him the more I like. If Coleman gives Robert Griffin III and the Browns the level of production Beckham and Brown provide their teams, I will have no problem with watching him on Sundays.
If he goes the way of Edwards then he is going to leave a lot to be desired. As for the other drafted wide receivers, and the returning players, the depth chart will get interesting.
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Rookies Rashard Higgins (Colorado State), Jordan Payton (UCLA), and Ricardo Louis (Auburn) will be fighting for spots on the active roster. Higgins and Payton give the Cleveland Browns some height while Louis provides more speed. The other WR Seth Devalve (Princeton) might project more as a tight end and will likely start on the practice squad.
For the veterans, Dwayne Bowe is gone after a season of great disappointment. The Browns best playmaker in Travis Benjamin left for the San Diego Chargers. That leaves Brian Hartline, Andrew Hawkins, Taylor Gabriel, Terrelle Pryor, Marlon Moore, and Darius Jennings. The remaining vets are far from murders row when it comes to playmakers.
There is a lot to be desired with a list of names like that. So it is not surprising the Cleveland Browns new front office felt like they had to hit the position hard in the draft. If I was a veteran wideout on this team, I would not feel safe in the least.
The influx of multiple rookie wideouts could spell the end of some guys time with the Browns. Training camp will go a long way to proving who will stay and who will go.
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