Fresh Faces for Browns Offense
Commitment to Draft
Under Mike Holmgren, the Cleveland Browns have shown strong commitment to the NFL draft when it comes to surrounding this team with game changing talent. With Cleveland not being a desirable destination for free agents, due to its location and the fact that the Browns have been still stuck in the rebuilding phase for nearly a decade. They must resort to building a quality team by stringing successful drafts together in order to develop highly touted college players into solid contributors at the NFL level. The Mike Holmgren regime is using this strategy for the Cleveland Browns in order to make them relevant; considering the fact the Browns have only made the playoffs once since their return to the NFL in 1999.
Skill Positions: Fountain of Youth
Usually, when a team is building a young core for the future they sign some veterans in attempt to help clip the learning curve that is in store the young players while provide quality minutes when they are on the field. However, the Cleveland Browns are choosing not to go this route when it comes to offense, which was near the NFL cellar for total yards and total touchdowns among all 32 teams. Based upon their most recent roster, the oldest Cleveland Browns offensive skill position player heading into this season will be 29 year old WR Joshua Cribbs with the second oldest being, a 1st round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, QB Brandon Weeden at 28 years old.
In addition to that, the Browns have also used a 2nd round pick in the 2012 NFL Supplemental Draft to select WR Josh Gordon, who a standout receiver at Baylor University. Consequently, for selecting Josh Gordon in the 2nd round in the 2012 NFL Supplemental Draft they are forfeiting their 2nd round pick the 2013 NFL Draft. The reason why the Browns were willing to burn such a high pick on Gordon was because of the skills this guy can possibly bring to the table; he is 6’3”, 225lbs and posted a respectable 4.52 40-yard dash time at his pro day. Another thing that brought attention to Gordon was the comparison he drew when it came to his receiver skill set; that comparison was to Randy Moss.
The Cleveland Browns are coming off a disappointing 4-12 season under 1st year head coach Pat Shurmur, but the Browns have added a plethora of talent via the draft in Trent Richardson, Brandon Weeden, Josh Gordon, etc. In addition to that, they are also expecting a spike in production for 2nd year WR Greg Little. The Cleveland Browns are improved, but there still will be growing pains as this group attempts to mesh together and it also doesn’t help when you get a difficult schedule for the upcoming season. The combined 2011 regular season record for the 13 different opponents the Cleveland Browns will play against in 2012 is (102-106). Even though, the Cleveland Browns have strived to make improvements to their team I still think they will finish the season with a (5-11) record.