Cleveland Browns need a breakout star at wide receiver

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 18: Corey Coleman /
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CLEVELAND, OH – SEPTEMBER 18: Corey Coleman /

The Cleveland Browns have been stuck on the quarterback carousel, but the team needs to figure out who will be receiving the lion’s share of targets this season.

There was only one bright spot among the wide receivers in the Cleveland Browns’ 2016 dreadful 1-15 season and that was one man: Terrelle Pryor.

The only hope that glimmered for Browns fans vanished when Pryor signed a one-year contract earlier this offseason with the Washington Redskins. Pryor was coming off his best season as a pro as he reached the 1,000-yard receiving plateau for the first time in his career.

Now the Browns heading into training camp will try to figure out how to replace the 77-1,007-4 stat line that Pryor delivered as the top dog a year ago.

But it’s not just Pryor’s production the Browns lost.

Related: Al Saunders may be the key to Browns wide receivers

Add on the surprising release of tight end Gary Barnidge and recent release and subsequent retirement of receiver Andrew Hawkins, the Browns receiving corps may look foreign to Browns fans once the season begins.

The trio last year accounted for 53 percent of the team’s total receiving yardage. That’s a tall task to take on if you’re head coach Hue Jackson and the offensive staff.

All the talk has been on the offseason signings of Kevin Zeitler and JC Tretter and how the running game with Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson should take off this year.

The ingredients are there for Crowell, in particular, to explode in 2017 as it’s clear that the Browns offensive identity will be focused on the run game.

But the Browns are well aware that every offensive has to be balanced; it can’t be a one-trick pony.

That’s why it will be important regardless of whoever takes under center for Week 1, that the quarterback running the offense needs weapons on the outside that he can count on.