Cleveland Browns faithful experienced an amazing season by Josh Gordon last year. Gordon exploded on to the national stage even though he was being thrown passes by 3 different quarterbacks, 2 of whom most likely won’t throw passes at all this upcoming season. Unfortunately the Browns, their fans and Browns opponents are also waiting for word on his reported suspension. While we are waiting for that possible bad news comes his ranking on NFL.com’s Top 100 players in the league.
The Browns put together a similar photo for Joe Haden highlighting how great Gordon was. He made a Pro Bowl for the first time, led the league in receptions and set a team record for receptions in a game. Gordon last year made Browns games much watch on his own. Whether it was games over 200 yards, most yards in back to back games or just the amazing plays he made Gordon was exciting. The Browns, and their fans, hope he doesn’t miss too much time and gets his off the field act together to be able to showcase his talents on the field.
Last year Gordon was not ranked, not surprisingly, by NFL.com. “Reminds me of Calvin Johnson” might be the best compliment any modern day receiver can get. Haden notes his break away speed, with his long strides this is often hard to see on camera but as he pulls away from other players it becomes very obvious. As noted in the video his ability to get in and out of his breaks, the size of his hands and his surprising speed are what set him apart last year.
For the Browns the thoughts, and hopes, have to be long term. While Gordon’s off the field issues create a concern can they afford to give up on him? If he is suspended for a year his contract is extended a year making his free agency farther out. On his rookie deal the Browns can afford to wait but as he reaches free agency how much can the team risk on the 16th ranked player in the NFL, who could be out of the league with one poor choice?
In the future Gordon, if he stays on the field, would be paired with the dynamic Johnny Manziel, up and coming star tight end Jordan Cameron, slot dynamo Andrew Hawkins, a few young running backs and a stellar offensive line. If Manziel is a starting level QB, that offense could be special starting in 2015. If he is gone the Browns will have to allocate some resources to the receiver position, though don’t expect them to spend big in free agency or the draft to answer the need.
Where would you rank Gordon (taking the looming suspension out of play)?