Browns take WR Gordon in supplemental draft

Posted July 12, 2012 @ 12:55 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

The Browns used a second-round pick in Thursday’s supplemental draft to select former Baylor WR Josh Gordon, according to multiple reports.

Cleveland forfeits its 2013 second-rounder to get the wideout.

As PFW’s Nolan Nawrocki wrote, the Browns had targeted Gordon’s former teammate, WR Kendall Wright, with their 22nd pick in April’s draft. With Wright going to Tennessee, the Browns selected QB Brandon Weeden. Now, Gordon provides another weapon for the rookie quarterback.

Gordon (6-3 1/8, 224) possesses “elite athletic ability, big, very natural hands and prototype size,” Nawrocki wrote. “He needs considerable work on his release and has yet to adopt a professional work ethic. However, he showed he could be a big-play, vertical receiver in 2010, playing faster on the field than his low 4.5-timed speeds.”

Gordon has not played football for two years. He transferred to Utah in 2011 after being suspended prior to the ’11 season following a marijuana arrest. The Browns did host Gordon for a work out. Cleveland had the second pick in the supplemental draft, determined by a lottery.

The way we see it

This ranks among the boldest moves of the Mike Holmgren-Tom Heckert braintrust in Cleveland. For a club that has valued draft picks, surrendering a 2013 second-rounder for Gordon speaks volumes of the Browns' belief in his upside.

This is the second consecutive year that the Browns have taken a wide receiver who missed the previous collegiate season. They took former North Carolina WR Greg Little in Round Two in 2011, and Little led the team in catches and yards as a rookie, though he dropped too many passes.

The attention now turns to how Gordon fits in this offense as a rookie. There figures to be an immediate shot at playing time if he proves a quick study. The question is, how quickly can he acclimate to the pro game?

The Browns are likely to start a rookie quarterback (Brandon Weeden) and running back (Trent Richardson), and ideally, Gordon will immediately play to his vast potential. The Browns have to be banking that the talent of their young players overrides any growing pains. The Browns desperately need to improve on offense, and their youth movement highlights their belief that the status quo wasn't going to get it done.