Cleveland Browns: Corey Coleman the lone hope from the 2016 receivers

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

The Cleveland Browns drafted four receivers in 2016, and Corey Coleman remains the only one with any sort of great potential in 2017.

Any roaring optimism about the Cleveland Browns in 2017 can be brought back down to Earth when looking at the receiving corps.

There is talent, but with so many new faces it is hard to know what the team has until we see them in live action this Sunday against Joe Haden and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Yes, it still stings to type that sentence.

The Browns are currently carrying six receivers: Corey Coleman, Kenny Britt, Ricardo Louis, Sammie Coates, Kasen Williams and Reggie Davis. Any of those names sound unfamiliar?

Coates, Williams and Davis will all play in their first game as a Brown this Sunday, given they all play, after spending the entire offseason and preseason in other places. How did we get here?

The Browns were never supposed to have this uncertainty at the wide receiver position. Drafting four receivers in 2016 seemed to be the first step in rebuilding the position. Then came the breakout year of Terrelle Pryor and things seemed to be set.

Jump to today and Pryor is in Washington while only two of the four receivers drafted remain on the roster, with one cut and one on the practice squad.

Jordan Payton was let go after getting one measly catch in 2016 and serving a suspension, while Rashard Higgins made the practice squad after a lackluster preseason, never living up to the hype that comes with the name, “Hollywood.”

Ricardo Louis made the roster likely thanks to his ability on special teams, leaving Corey Coleman as the only true threat from the 2016 receiving class. Not only that, but the only threat from any receiver who played on the team last year.

To be fair, Coleman was a first-round pick and was brought in to be a number one receiver for this team. Injuries took a toll on him last year, but 2017 is a major year for not only him, but for this front office.

The 2016 season was not one about winning, but it was a time for the front office to bring in some talent to build upon. If Coleman has a dud season, it is possible the team heads into 2018 with no receivers from the 2016 class, or even the 2016 roster.

Next: Previewing Week 1 in the DPD Podcast

Better quarterback play should help Coleman this season, as he and DeShone Kizer hooked up for some nice connections this preseason. And while fans are hoping for greatness, those in the front office need some production out of the second-year man to validate his first-round selection and keep the rebuilding process moving forward.