The Cleveland Browns are brimming with optimism now that Brady Quinn is finally in camp. While Quinn is certainly due to take the reins, the Browns will be needing some quality targets for the youngster to throw to. With a fairly solid number one in Braylon Edwards, the Browns are thin after that. They do own a decent stable of third receiver types, they lack that solid number two guy to keep the double teams off of Edwards on a regular basis. Add to that the dependence that young quarterbacks have on their tight ends, and you can see that the receiver corp has their work cut out for them.
Braylon Edwards had a very nice 2006 with over 800+ yards receiving and 6 touchdowns to his credit. This is a very good sign in Browns country where the focus has been on a strong running game in recent years. This year the addition of Jamal Lewis should give the Browns that very thing. This has got to help benefit Edwards and those around them. Also, a healthy Kellen Winslow at tight end should loosen the strings down field. Edwards seems poised to take on the role of superstar if he can get a steady ball thrown his way, and someone can step up as a true number two receiver.
Joe Jurevicius is listed at number two on the depth chart but he is not really a number two receiver. He is a great player to have on the roster, as he is a class act all the way, and dependable. He really fits more as a possession type receiver or number three however. Great hands and deceptive speed allow him to really fill a role on any team, and he will help the Browns to be a better team. If someone steps up to the number two position, then Jurevicius will fill the number three perfectly.
Sixth year man Tim Carter who was acquired from the Giants in the off season just might be the guy to step into that number two. Always an exciting player, he has the skills and make up to take on this role. Carter never really reached his full potential with the Giants but don’t be fooled. He never truly got the chance in Giant land. In the Brown’s system, he might just fit perfectly. Look for him to take Jurevicius’ position by week three.
Another potential but unproven candidate could be second year man Travis Wilson. Wilson never even really got started last year. At 6-1 and 215 pounds, he makes a nice big target, and has very good hands. At Oklahoma, he was a do it all kind of guy and he will have an impact on the Browns this year. Keep your eyes open for him, as the Browns are thin enough at the position that he will be given every chance to succeed.
All in all, the Browns are going to struggle a bit this season but they will improve on 2006. The learning curve is steep for rookie quarterbacks, and Quinn will take some time to mature. The receivers the Browns currently have are in need of some tweaking, but certainly they are a workable group that will shine at times. The key player here will be Travis Wilson. If he approaches the talent he showed in Sooner country, then the Browns may be a pleasant surprise in the tough AFC.