2013 was a season in which the Cleveland Browns took a major step forward at the wide receiver position. Josh Gordon was one of the most pleasant surprises in the NFL. Unfortunately, the team do not have many weapons in the passing game outside of him (Jordan Cameron didn’t play very well down the stretch), and the team really doesn’t have a number two receiver. That’s where this year’s draft comes in, especially with how deep the class is at the wide receiver position. With that being said, here’s the top 10 wide outs in this year’s draft that I believe the Browns should target.
Side Note: Before you jump on me for not putting arguably the three best receivers in this year’s class on the list (Sammy Watkins, Marquise Lee and Mike Evans), it’s only because I don’t believe that it’ll be feasible to draft those players at the point in the draft when I think the team should go after a wide receiver.
10. Jarred Abbrederis, Wisconsin- Abbrederis is the ultimate American success story, made for a movie. Abbrederis initially came to Wisconsin as a walk on back in 2009, and spent his whole first season redshirting as part of the scout team. He worked his butt off though, and by the next season he was playing on a regular basis. He quickly became the Badgers’ go to receiver and finished his senior season with his first season of at least 1,000 yards to go along with 7 touchdowns. Abbrederis reminds me of your average NFL possession receiver that you would line up in the slot. He has very below average speed (4.52) and size (6’2) but he’s a great route runner who finds a way to get open despite his below average athleticism.
Projected Round: 3
9. Robert Herron, Wyoming- Herron seems to be the anti-Abbrederis when it comes to his attributes. Herron is great when it comes to straight-line speed (4.38), but as opposed to Abbrederis, he’s not a great route runner, which takes away from his natural quickness. A main criticism of Herron is that he plays against below average competition, but in the one game that Wyoming played against a team from a power conference (Nebraska) he performed, finishing with 91 yards and a touchdown. It definitely helped his college stats that he played with a quarterback, in Brett Smith, who’s probably going to be drafted as well, which isn’t a commodity that many small school players benefit from.
Projected Round: 2-3
8. Paul Richardson, Colorado- Richardson exploded onto the scene this past season, more than doubling his receiving yardage total (1343 yards) along with his receiving touchdown total (10 touchdowns). All this statistical improvement also came after Richardson tore his ACL in 2012, so to see that he regained his explosiveness is extremely promising. Speaking of his speed, he, much like Herron, has top end straight-line speed (4.48) but he also runs great routes, which only improves his overall quickness. A huge knock on Richardson is his size, especially weight wise. Richardson is extremely lanky (6-1, 170 lbs) and this makes him less willing to go after balls and take hits. Richardson has a tendency to then drop way more balls than he should because he’s too busy anticipating for oncoming hits.
Projected Round: 2-3