CLEVELAND – With Pro Bowl wideout Josh Gordon facing a year-long ban for marijuana use, the Cleveland Browns must take a wide receiver today.
After trading a fourth-round pick(106th) and sixth-round pick(180th) to the San Francisco 49ers to take former Towson running back Terrance West, Cleveland has two picks remaining in the draft (127th—via the Indianapolis Colts) and their own seventh round pick(218th), Cleveland has two chances to and a potential replacement for Gordon on Saturday.
The loss of Gordon could be huge, and is made even bigger by the addition of new franchise quarterback Johnny Manziel, whom if he beats out projected starter, Brian Hoyer leaves a huge black hole on a potentially dangerous offense.
Couple that with the recent injury(broken arm) to newly-acquired Nate Burelson, the selection of offensive lineman, Joel Bitonio in the second round and the euphoria and excitement of Johnny Football deflates the tortured fan base of Cleveland faster than Michael Jordan’s game-winning shot of Craig Ehlo.
With this being the deepest class at wideout in years and the new Browns front office tandem of Ray Farmer and Mike Pettine sticking to their draft board, perhaps the Browns already have something in place in the form of a trade–or a late-round target that they want.
That being said, here are three possible Day 3 wide receiver targets for the Browns.
South Carolina WR – Bruce Ellington: I wrote about the former point guard and wide receiver for the Gamecocks here back in May, stated that he could be a possible late-round target. Considering the ongoing Gordon situation and Cleveland’s new emphasis on speed, the 5’9, 196-pound burner would be a perfect fit.
The leading receiver for South Carolina, Ellington caught 49 passes for 775 yards and eight touchdowns.
Clemson Tigers WR – Martavis Bryant: At 6’5 and 201 pounds, Bryant was the proverbial Robin to former teammate Sammy Watkins’ Batman. I first wrote about Bryant here. While not as high-profile as Watkins, Bryant has the potential to be an impact player for the Browns in stepping into the No.2 role across from Greg Little(?) after catching 42 passes for 828 yards and seven touchdowns.
Saginaw Valley State – Jeff Janis: First mentioned by the InscriberMag’s Cleveland Browns beat writer, Ryan Ruiz, the small-school playmaker could be perhaps the greatest sleeper pick for the Browns. After running an unofficial 4.30 at the NFL Scouting Combine. The 6’3, 219 pounder set school records in catching 106 passes for a Division II-best 1,635 yards and 17 touchdowns and earning All-Conference honors in 2013 with 83 catches for 1,572 yards and 14 touchdowns. Blessed with speed and natural athleticism, Janis could be a late-round steal for the Browns.
Robert D. Cobb Is the CEO/Founder/Senior Editor-In-Chief of the InscriberMag : Digital Magazine and a member of the PFWA(Pro Football Writers Association), please follow him on Twitter at @RC_TheInscriberMag