Cleveland Browns 2017 training camp position preview: The wide receivers
The Cleveland Browns will open training camp on July 27. Here we take a look at the wide receivers, a position group with some potential.
The Cleveland Browns are searching for consistency on offense, which is an area where improvement is a necessity.
While the quarterback situation remains the dominant conversation, groups such as the wide receivers will also have a significant impact on the degree to which the team improves in 2017.
The Browns have several potential playmakers at the wideout position, but have yet to find the chemistry necessary to maximize the potential of their passing attack.
Corey Coleman, a first-round draft pick in 2016, has the ability to make enormous strides this year. Hopefully for the Browns, the “sophomore slump” does not apply to one of the most electrifying players on their roster. Moving into a more prominent role on offense, Coleman is a leader within this group and, if he can remain healthy is the favorite to end up leading the receivers in yards.
Related: Al Saunders may be the key to the wide receivers
In an effort to help stabilize position, the Browns turned to free agency and added Kenny Britt from the Los Angeles Rams. Another weapon and a veteran, Britt will bring the Browns valuable experience and will provide them with another option on the outside. At 28 years old, adding the former Titan and Ram during his prime is a major move for the Browns. Britt’s physicality and playmaking ability is intended to improve the production of this group.
Beyond these two clear starters, the Browns will be attempting to nurture some of the young wideouts who are far from household names among football fans.
Second-year players Ricardo Louis, Rashard Higgins and Jordan Payton are set to make strides with more playing time this season. While growing pains are inevitable, each will serve as a critical part of the offense whether they are catching passes, running routes, or blocking on the outside.
More from Dawg Pound Daily
- How the Browns could maximize Nick Chubb in 2023
- Can Deshaun Watson get to Patrick Mahomes level for Cleveland Browns?
- 3 Cleveland Browns who should see an expanded role in 2023 and 1 who should not
- Is Marcus Davenport on the Browns radar in 2023?
- 5 Free agents from Super Bowl LVII Cleveland Browns should target
Related: Browns need to develop their wide receivers this summer
This trio of wide receivers should see more playing time this fall than they did as rookies. If Coleman or Britt goes down with an injury it is likely that one of them will be called up to start. After wide receiver Terrelle Pryor left in free agency, the Browns need to move everybody up and allow inexperienced players to take lead roles at times. This is bound to be a consistent theme of the offense in 2017.
Besides what most would consider to be the top five active receivers on the roster, the Browns will give Mario Alford, Rannell Hall and Josh Boyce another opportunity in training camp. Of course, they won’t be able to keep all of these players, but another roster spot or two should be open for a camp surprise to slip in and possibly contribute during the season.
The elephant in the room in the receivers discussion is still Josh Gordon. Even though the vast majority of fans have given up on a potential return long ago, the infamous Brown remains a factor. Still, at this point, Cleveland must carry on with the group of receivers they have no matter what the story is with Gordon. Any sort of return to the league, much less to the Browns, appears to be wishful thinking.
Next: PFF: Browns offensive line is NFL's second best
The Browns will finally enter a season with some sort of continuity on offense. Even though the quarterback position is still in question, Cleveland will be similar schematically and will need to rely heavily on their passing game due to their roster composition. With this in mind, the group of wide receivers the team currently has is one to focus on during training camp and the preseason.