The Cleveland Browns enter week three of the season with arguably the worst receiving corps in the NFL. If you mention the names Greg Little, Mohammed Massaquoi, Josh Gordon, Josh Cribbs, Jordan Norwood, and Travis Benjamin to an NFL Defensive Coordinator, you will probably get sarcastic response like “Ooh, I’m scared”. They are young, inexperienced, and raw. Two of their starting receivers missed a year of football due to off the field issues the last year of their college careers. By pure default, the Browns should be doomed from the very get go. But to borrow the Cleveland Indians unforgettable slogan the last two years, “What if?”.
What if Greg Little overcomes his second best league leading twelve drops last year and turned in to a number one receiver? The guy did catch 61 balls last year for over 700 yards.
What if Mo Mass broke out like we have all been waiting for for the last four years? Even with poor quarterback play by first round pick Brandon Weeden in week one, Massaquoi seemed to be the only one running crisp routes and catching balls thrown his way. In week two against the Cincinnati Bengals, Massaquoi caught five rocket passes from Weeden for 90 yards and an impressive 18 yard avgerage. Could this finally be his year?
What if Josh Gordon stepped up and proved he was second round worthy? Gordon very easily has the size and speed of a prototypical receiver in this league. He just needs to get in game shape and relax a little.
What if Josh Cribbs was used more in the offense? While Cribbs holds an NFL record for kick returns for a touchdown (8), very quietly caught a career high in receptions (41), yards (518) and found the end zone four times in 2011.
And finally, what if Norwood and Benjamin turned out to be pretty good change of pace speedsters? During the preseason, Norwood was a favorite target when he found the field by all quarterbacks. He seems to have a knack for keeping drives going.
Benjamin, on one play in week one showed why he could be one of the best steals of the draft as he was taken 100th overall in the fourth round this year. On a side note, I said this a few weeks ago so you heard it hear first, Travis Benjamin’s new nickname is “Ricky Bobby”. Why? Because he wants to go fast!
What do Greg Jennings, Randy Moss, Brandon Marshall, and Wes Welker all have in common? They all were young, raw, and talented receivers once. Sound somewhat familiar? The only hurdle though, with new ownership looming and changes sure to be made, it’s time for one of these young receivers to step up and make a name for themselves.
Ryan Ruiz – Browns Writer
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