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 David Welker/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Welker/Getty Images) /

Josh Gordon

What is a Cleveland Browns offseason without wondering if Josh Gordon will be reinstated by the league? Well, to keep things short and simple for this topic he is able to apply for reinstatement this fall after being denied (again) earlier in the year.

There is no doubt he remains the most talented receiver on the Browns and they would love to utilize his talent on the field. However, it seems more of a dream by the day as Gordon has continuously proved he is not to be relied on.

For that reason, until reinstated, the Browns front office and coaches should not include him in any plans for the future. It is worth mentioning Gordon, once again, hyped fans by a cryptic tweet possibly suggesting a comeback is near. Although, Browns fans have learned they need to roll with the “believe it when I see it” motto.

The rest of the guys

Jordan Payton, Rannell Hall, Jordan Leslie, Mario Alford and Josh Boyce will be competing for roster spots at receiver. Payton, who was drafted only a year ago, will likely make the cut due to being drafted recently but it’s no given.

However, being suspended the last four games of 2016 doesn’t help his cause so Payton certainly needs to prove himself in camp if playing time is what he seeks.

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As for the rest, it’s a coin flip. One would imagine one or two of these guys will make the roster and the preseason will significantly be a factor in determining who is kept. One would imagine Payton is a lock for one of those two spots but the next one is wide open for the taking.

At the end of the day, the Browns will look to establish their running game as the focal point of the offense in 2017. After adding some big name free agents to an already decent offensive line, the Browns have one of the best offensive lines in the league. Hopefully, this will open up the field for their receivers to make plays.

The tight ends will be a large part of the offense with rookie David Njoku and Seth DeValve but the opportunity will arise for a receiver to be a major contributor on offense as well.

Next: Top 5 QBs Browns will face in 2017

2017 is a season for growth at the wideout position and as the season progresses the Browns will find out who are legitimate players worthy of keeping around for seasons to come.