Cleveland Browns: Previewing the 2017 wide receiving corps

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns have been hard at work in Berea preparing for the 2017 NFL season. As the quarterback competition continues, another position that raises uncertainty on the depth chart is the wide receivers.

The Cleveland Browns begin the preseason this Thursday when the New Orleans Saints come to FirstEnergy Stadium.

Head coach Hue Jackson will be leading the team for his second season and expects tremendous strides. One position group that has yet to cement its outlook is the wide receivers. After selecting four wideouts in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Browns decided to stand pat with their young guys and not draft one in 2017.

Of course, the roster looks a bit different at the receiver spot compared to last season so let’s dive right in.

The loss of Terrelle Pryor

The Browns enter the 2017 season without their most productive wide receiver from 2016 – Terrelle Pryor. Pryor switched to wideout just two seasons ago after previously playing quarterback, but put up nice numbers and showed potential.

He had 77 receptions, 1,007 yards and four touchdowns under a handful of quarterbacks. Impressive to say the least considering who was throwing him the ball, but Pryor was seeking a lucrative deal that his numbers didn’t quite justify.

Pryor was looking to be paid as one of the top receivers in the league, and Cleveland’s offer didn’t cut it. Instead of guaranteed money for the next few seasons Pryor decided to gamble on himself.

He accepted a guaranteed $6 million deal with an opportunity at an additional $2 million in incentives with the Washington Redskins. The Browns wasted no time in replacing Pryor, though. Once clear Cleveland and Pryor wouldn’t agree to terms, the Browns gave the same offer to Kenny Britt and he accepted happily.

Kenny Britt

Britt posted similar statistics to Pryor in 2016 with 68 receptions, 1,002 yards and five touchdowns. At 6-foot-3 and 215-pounds he clearly becomes the Browns’ most experienced wide receiver, likely to play at the “Z” position.

He was drafted in the first-round by the Tennessee Titans back in 2009 and has had a solid career since. However, he has played with the Titans and Los Angeles Rams, both of which had less-than-ideal quarterback situations during his tenure with each respective team.

In Britt’s short time with the Browns, the eight-year veteran has looked good in training camp. He’s revived the veteran leadership role with the receiving corps amid the retirement of Andrew Hawkins and welcomes that role as well.

He made headlines last week with his comments on Browns second-round pick DeShone Kizer – claiming he has potential to “become one of the great ones.” Britt has been around his fair share of promising quarterbacks including Vince Young, Jake Locker and Jared Goff, so he might know a thing or two of what it takes to succeed early as a quarterback.

Nonetheless, the veteran finds himself in a great spot in his career with a clear starting spot on this young team. He has the ability to create and make big plays and is coming off of a career year with personal records in receptions and receiving yards. Look for a solid 1,000 yard season from him in 2017.