The Cleveland Browns may be targeting a wide receiver early in the 2017 NFL Draft, but that does not mean that last year’s receiver class can’t succeed.
Cleveland Browns fans will likely remember the 2016 NFL Draft as a year in which the Browns took four wide receivers. It just remains to be seen whether it will be considered yet another draft class filled with busts.
The selections of Corey Coleman, Ricardo Louis, Rashard Higgins and Jordan Payton were supposed to rejuvenate the receiving corps, yet the best player at the position in 2016 was a former quarterback who is no longer with the team.
The absence of Terrelle Pryor leaves a glaring hole at the position, even though the Browns have those four players who will be entering their second season of professional football.
Coleman figures to be a main piece of the offense after an injury-filled rookie campaign, but the other three may be fighting for a job.
That has led Browns fans to speculate on whether the team may be looking to draft another receiver early, as some players are headed to Cleveland to meet with the coaching staff.
Players like Corey Davis, Mike Williams, and even John Ross could be realistic targets for the Browns. And after drafting four receivers a year ago, fans may see this as a sign that last year’s class was a bust.
Related: Corey Davis draft profile
But it is too early to tell on that front. The Browns simply need to take the most talented player available at each draft selection, instead of reaching on a player just because he may fill a need on the team, as every position is in need of improvement right now.
So if that player is a wide receiver, either at pick No. 12 or No. 33, the Browns shouldn’t hesitate to take him. This mindset changes if a team has two star receivers, but that is obviously not the case with the Browns.
Adding a new receiver means one of the guys from last year may not make the final roster, but it doesn’t mean last year’s mindset was a bad one. It just means the team was able to acquire more talent at the position in what remains a rebuilding process.
The goal with any NFL team should be to always be looking out to improve at each position, although that gets difficult when players are on major contracts. But in the Browns’ case, there is flexibility to keep bringing in young players to compete for starting roles, regardless of who is already on the team.