The Cleveland Browns need to add some help at wide receiver but their history in the NFL Draft is less than encouraging at the position
It seems to be a foregone conclusion that the Cleveland Browns are about to use the No. 13 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft on a wide receiver.
This seemed to be the case even before Jarvis Landry made it clear he was ready to move on — before graciously putting the ball in the Browns court to absolve himself of any blame in the eventual parting.
With this being the case, Browns fans around the country are familiarizing themselves with some of the big names in this class but Jim Ingraham of Forbes Sports Money is taking a look back at the history of Cleveland wideouts taken in the NFL Draft. And it isn’t pretty.
"“In the Super Bowl era (1967 to the present), the Browns have drafted 70 wide receivers. Only two of them became Pro Bowl selections: Braylon Edwards in 2007 and Webster Slaughter in 1989. That’s it.” — Jim Ingraham, Forbes Sports Money"
Ingraham does add that Josh Gordon found some success but he was not included since he was a member of the 2012 Supplemental Draft rather than the actual NFL Draft.
While Edwards and Slaughter were the only Pro Bowl selections, they did have some good seasons for players such as Dave Logan, Kevin Johnson, and Brian Brennan — although none were first-round picks as Ingraham pointed out.
Cleveland Browns had two solid picks pre-Super Bowl era
In order to find their best success at wideout in Round 1, we need to go back to the pre-Super Bowl days. That’s where Ingraham reminds us they added Gary Collins with the No. 4 overall pick in 1963 and Paul Warfield who was taken at No. 11 ahead of the 1964 NFL season.
Both Warfield and Collins were great but it has been a long time since they added elite receivers in the draft.
Should this give Cleveland Browns pause in 2022 NFL Draft?
So, with the scarcity of talent being added, should Cleveland avoid making a move for a wideout in Round 1? Absolutely not.
Far too often we look at historical narratives and try to place them on the current team. Have the Browns struggled? Sure, but this is an entirely new regime. Andrew Berry is entering his third season as the general manager and he has yet to draft a wideout earlier than Anthony Schwartz in Round 3.
What he has done, however, is hit on his early picks. Jedrick Wills has been a good starter at left tackle and Greg Newsome proved to be as advertised at cornerback. Throw in the early success with Grant Delpit and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Berry has even hit on his second-round picks.
That’s what we need to be worried about when discussing wide receivers and the Browns. This is a class with a boatload of talent and Andrew Berry knows how to pick players who will succeed in their scheme.