Cleveland Browns UDFA No. 6: Jordan Norwood, slot receiver, Class of 2010
Jordan Norwood was recruited as a basketball player as well as football player out of high school, where he made a name for himself because of his jumping ability, which led to a good-but-not-great career at Penn State with Joe Paterno.
As a Nittany Lion,he was Academic All-Big 10, and in his senior year, he hauled in 41 passes for 637 yards and six touchdowns, which is very acceptable, but not enough to cause the scouts to salivate. At the Combine, he was also good-but-not-great, turning in a 4.58 second 40-yard dash time and a 38-inch vertical.
That was not good enough to get drafted, but it was good enough to get him on the 90-man roster of the Cleveland Browns. However, the Browns cut him and the Philadelphia Eagles signed him. However they waived him and the Browns claimed him in September 2010, which is the basis for assigning him to the Class of 2010.
He made the practice squad in 2010, and then the 53-player roster in 2011. In 2012, he was the starting slot receiver and actually was the favorite target for Brandon Weeden for two games. Yes, it was a small sample size, but he made Weeden look good, and that was not easy to do.
He lit it up for 13 catches on 19 targets for 137 yards and then sprained his foot. Then the Browns just sort of forgot about him. He never came back that season, and the Browns cut him that season. He went over to the Tampa Bay Bucs but failed to make their regular roster, and then went to the Denver Broncos, and promptly tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in practice and was missed another year.
Finally, he came back in 2015 as an extra receiver and punt returner and helped the team down the stretch. In the Super Bowl, he had a record-setting 61-yard punt return.
So why did the Browns forget about this guy? It’s not like they were so deep with wide receiving talent that they did not have room for a wide receiver on their team. It’s worth remembering that the Browns had a receiver who was a starter for them, then they gave up on him after a non-career-threatening injury, and watched him collect a Super Bowl ring.