Just when we thought things were looking up for the Cleveland Browns, the sports gods reminded the poor folks of the Forest City they hate them. Josh Gordon reportedly failed a second drug test, which means he’ll likely be suspended for the entire 2014 NFL season. Put simply, that should change the Browns’ draft plans on Friday night.
Cleveland was sitting pretty after taking Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, but now things have changed drastically. Manziel no longer has a young, breakout Pro Bowl receiver to catch his passes and help him develop as a rookie.
Considering the Browns have a history of giving up on their draft picks way too quickly, they better make sure Manziel has some help or this pick was wasted before he every played a snap.
The Browns hold the No. 3 pick in the second round of the draft and while they probably weren’t planning on targeting only a receiver, that has to be their plan now. Fortunately, Marqise Lee fell out of the first round and it doesn’t appear the Houston Texans or Washington Redskins will take him before the Browns are on the clock.
Cleveland really needs to land Lee because after he’s gone, the value of receivers drops drastically. Allen Robinson and Cody Latimer are the next best available pass-catchers on the board, but neither of them are likely to impact the offense right away while Lee possesses that capability.
Whatever Browns fans were hoping for on Friday night just became a unified longing for a new playmaker to help Manziel in 2014. If Cleveland doesn’t get that on Friday night, it’s going to be yet another long season.