Browns pass on wide receivers

Browns pass on wide receivers
May 10, 2014, 10:00 am
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The Browns are faced with losing star wideout Josh Gordon (above) for the entire season

(USA TODAY Sports)

No, it’s not ironic, but as Alanis Morissette sang in her hit from about 20 years ago, it’s like rain on your wedding day. That’s got to be the feeling around Cleveland and the Browns.

On Friday, a day after the Browns energized their fans with the selection of dynamic quarterback Johnny Manziel after some serpentine moves in the first round of the NFL draft, everyone learned that the team’s biggest offensive weapon, wide receiver Josh Gordon, is facing a year’s suspension for again failing a league drug test.

That is, everyone but the Browns just learned the news. They apparently already knew. According to media reports, including by cleveland.com, the club found out about the looming ban at least a week before the draft.

And that makes Cleveland’s picks so far in the draft so curious. On Thursday night, before they traded down via a deal with the Buffalo Bills, the Browns held the No. 4 position. Buffalo used that spot to grab the draft’s consensus most talented wide receiver, Clemson’s Sammy Watkins.

Excuse me for being Captain Obvious, but knowing that they could well lose their No. 1 receiver for the whole season — Gordon could appeal and perhaps the ban would be shortened — why didn’t the Browns stay at the fourth position take Watkins?

And then, why did the Browns go through the second and third rounds on Friday and take an offensive lineman (Joel Bitonio), a linebacker (Christian Kirksey) and a running back (Towson’s Terrance West) but still no receiver? Among the high-profile wideouts available on Day 2 but passed over by Cleveland was USC’s Marqise Lee.

Presumably, the Browns will take a wide receiver or two in Saturday’s pick-fest. In the meantime, Manziel can still look forward to throwing to capable tight end Jordan Cameron, who had 80 receptions last season, but after that, there is no one on the roster who caught more than 41 passes last season.

Welcome to Cleveland, Johnny Football.