Browns Myth Buster #4: A Wideout Still Could Happen
The Cleveland Browns are good. The Browns are capable of playing very good football. The Browns have a good front office and a strong leader at head coach in Mike Pettine. The Browns have reliable pass catching weapons, a top five offensive line and the best secondary on this side of the Mississippi.
Follow along with us as we disprove each negative myth about the Browns in the offseason.
Browns myth #4: With the free agent signings of Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline, the Browns won’t pursue a wide receiver in the first round.
One thing that all Browns fans need to know about Ray Farmer is that Farmer is a very firm believer in taking the best available player. This means that no matter what the position is the Browns will pick the player that they believe will go on to have the best career. An example of this strategy being put to use was done in the 2nd round last year. The Browns had an average receiving group even with Josh Gordon, but the Browns selected Nevada offensive linemen, Joel Bitonio. The Browns selected Bitonio despite the likes of Marquise Lee, Allen Robinson and Jarvis Landry still being available. While Lee, Robinson, and Landry all had productive first seasons, Bitonio was a fringe All-Pro player last year. If the Browns had the Cowboys record, it would have been Bitonio collecting all of Zach Martin’s accolades.
Everybody who follows the draft closely knows that there are three top tier wide receivers: Amari Cooper, Kevin White and Davante Parker. It’s unlikely that any of the three will still be on the board at 12, but the most likely player to still be available is Parker. Parker has good ball skills and runs hard after the catch and has true number one wide receiver potential in the NFL. If the Vikings don’t pounce on Parker to reunite him with his college quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, then the chances that Parker relocates to Cleveland are there. However, if none of these prospects make it to the 12th pick, the Browns can afford to wait until their 19th pick.
At the 19th pick, there are only two guys that I would be picking. Number one is Jaelen Strong from Arizona State, and the second is Dorial Green-Beckham. Jaelen Strong has as impressive tape as any of the top wide receivers in my opinion. Strong constantly wins jump balls, makes toe touch catches along the sideline, and shows his potential to run after the catch. Strong did all of this with Taylor Kelly at quarterback, a guy who has saw his completion percentage decline every season he played for the Sun Devils. Strong would have been very happy to play with Blake Sims and Clint Trickett.
Now for Dorial Green-Beckham – I know you’re all reading this thinking, “WE JUST HAD JOSH GORDON, YOU FOOL! HOW DUMB CAN YOU BE?” I understand your concerns, but hear me out. How many 6’6 237 pound wide receivers do you know of that run a 4.4? How many of those guys have natural ball skills and the ability to high point a ball better than anybody in the draft class?
DGB is the perfect example of the planet theory. There’s maybe four or five guys like him on the planet, and so if you can get one, you better get one. I know Green-Beckham has off-field issues, I know we just struggled with Josh Gordon’s two year implosion, but what about the Steelers and putting up with Big Ben? What about the Bengals and putting up with Vontaze Burfict and Adam Jones? What about the Ravens and Ray Lewis? DGB is risky for sure, but the idea of possibly Josh Gordon and Dorial Green-Beckham on both sidelines is something that other teams would be terrified of. With Mike Pettine as our coach, I think he can help right the ship with Gordon and Green-Beckham.