Why Josh Gordon Can Be a Top Wide Receiver This Year

The Browns have one of the most physically gifted wide receivers in the entire league and if he keeps his head on straight, watch out. We’re talking about a person that a scientist couldn’t even create in a lab. At 6’3, 225 lbs, this freak can run a 40-yard dash in 4.3-4.5 seconds.

Cleveland recently added Jarvis Landry to solidify their WR room. This could mean a couple of things for Gordon:

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He may not see as many targets as he would like or deserve. Landry attracted 142.5 targets on average during his four years in Miami. Landry’s high volume targets may halt Gordon’s production, but it might open things up for him down the field, considering he’s best on vertical routes.

Browns newly hired offensive coordinator, Todd Haley, will play a role in Gordon’s success this season. Haley’s had a checkered past in coaching, but his stints in Arizona and Pittsburgh were his best. In 2008, the Cardinals tied for third in scoring, fourth in total offense and second in the league in passing offense. Not to mention, they made the Super Bowl that year (in no way am I saying the Browns are going there). Haley seems to be at his best when he has a true No.1 wide receiver, ala Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona and Antonio Brown in Pittsburgh. With the weapons the Browns now have in the passing game, it’s going to be hard not to throw it a lot, especially with competent quarterback play in Tyrod Taylor.

Last season, Gordon showed glimpses of his 2013 days. One game, in particular, was against San Diego. He looked absolutely unstoppable. Even though he finished with just four catches for 85 yards on 11 targets, I can recall Kizer missing an open Gordon time after time again. He could’ve finished with 150+ yards and three touchdowns if the ball was anywhere near his vicinity. That’s hypothetical, but we’ve seen him do it before with just as bad QB play.

Gordon’s faced adversity his entire career going back to college, mostly by his own doing. That hasn’t stopped him from bouncing back though. In 2013, he missed the first two games of the season and still managed to rack up 87 catches for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns. Not only did he lead the league in receiving yards that year, but he also had back-to-back 200-yard games. Gordon put up 237 yards versus Pittsburgh and 261 against Jacksonville, breaking an NFL record. Mind you, he did this with Brandon Weeden, Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer under center.

With a full offseason to train and refine his skills, Josh Gordon is ready to take over the NFL again.

Image: ESPN

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