Browns position outlook: Wide receiver

January, 22, 2014
Jan 22
3:00
PM ET
2014 Free agents: None.

Gordon
Gordon
The good: The Browns have Josh Gordon, which is a good place to start. Gordon was phenomenal in his second season, shattering team records for yards per game and total receiving yards. Gordon is a budding superstar with a rare combination of size and speed, a guy with Calvin Johnson ability and skills.

The bad: Gordon remains one offseason -- or in-season -- misstep from a one-year suspension. That’s a risk the Browns have to live with, because Gordon is that talented. The other bad is that Gordon is all the Browns really have at the position. Davone Bess has had significant off-field issues since he missed the final two games of the season and does not figure to be back -- though the Browns may find it challenging to avoid the $3.06 million they guaranteed him when they signed him to a contract extension last April. Greg Little has not worked out; he does just enough to keep the team interested. His drops and his disappearing act in certain games exceed his talent. The rest of the roster includes a bunch of guys who may or may not figure in the future. But the Browns will clearly need to add one player at this spot either in the draft or via free agency.

The money: No financial decisions here, but the release of Bess and Little shortly after the Super Bowl would come as zero surprise to those who watched the team last season and read about Bess this offseason.

Draft priority: High, though the adage these days is never take a receiver too high. If the Browns did go for a receiver with the fourth pick, names like Marqise Lee and Sammy Watkins would fit. Both would be outstanding additions playing opposite Gordon. If the Browns go quarterback first, they could take a receiver later in the draft. And undoubtedly will.

Pat McManamon

ESPN Cleveland Browns reporter

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