Cleveland Browns: Who is the most reliable target on offense?


The Cleveland Browns will feature a young group of wide receivers in 2016, leaving one player as the most reliable target.

The Cleveland Browns made a statement by drafting four wide receivers in the 2016 NFL Draft. It showed those already on the team that no player was safe, which is something Brian Hartline found out recently.

Corey Coleman is the favorite to end up being the team’s number one receiver at some point in 2016, but he needs to earn the spot in training camp and during the preseason.

FanSided posed an interesting question on its Facebook page that could get Browns fans thinking about who the top receiver will be when the season begins.

The answer is easy when one is a fan of the New York Giants or New England Patriots, but it is not always clear for someone who is a fan of the Browns.

Josh Gordon would be the easy answer if he could find a way to not be suspended by the NFL, while the rookie receivers have not done anything to prove they are the answer yet either.

The top choice right now is tight end Gary Barnidge, who had a breakout season in 2015, leading the team in receptions (79), receiving yards (1,043) and receiving touchdowns (9).

Barnidge, along with current San Diego Charger Travis Benjamin, were the lone bright spots in an otherwise disappointing offense last season.

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Duke Johnson Jr. was the third leading receiver, which meant three different positions were represented in the team’s top three pass catchers.

There is nothing wrong with having a great deal of production from a tight end or running back, but the receivers cannot be as bad as they were a season ago.

Barnidge will open the season as the top target, but the inclusion of the four rookies should help take the pressure off the tight end.

Coleman was selected in the first round with great expectations, but Ricardo Louis, Rashard Higgins and Jordan Payton are also expected to come in and contribute early on.

They may all have much more pressure placed on them if Barnidge cannot stay healthy, but he came out and said he is expecting to be back for training camp after having surgery for a sports hernia.

Next: Barnidge eyes training camp return

His presence will help give the offense some stability at the beginning of the season, while also giving presumptive starting quarterback Robert Griffin III a reliable target who has had proven success in the NFL.