It is no secret that Cleveland intends to improve their offence in the 2014 draft, however with the signing of Nate Burleson the decision as to whether Wider Receiver or Quarterback will be addressed at pick number four has changed.
We have the Browns picking WR Sammy Watkins with their first pick, however, picking up Burleson on a one year deal from Detroit does give them the option of looking to day two to address this need or even waiting until 2015 where (with no offence intended) they are likely to be picking early again.
Burleson may be coming up 33, however he is far from washed up, and his release by the Detroit Lions was purely a salary cap move. He finished the 2013 with 39 catches for 461 yards and a single touchdown. However this needs to be viewed against a backdrop of Megatron being the no one target for Matt Stafford, and the fact that the last two seasons have been blighted by injury. He only played in nine games for the Lions in 2013 and in 2012 he missed the final 10 games of the season. It is also worth noting that he had one of the highest reception rates in the NFL last season catching 73.6% of the passes thrown to him. As for the injuries, well 2012 was ended due to a broken leg which is one of those things and not a nagging chronic problem, while in 2013 he suffered a somewhat self-inflicted injury when he broke his arm in a car crash, caused when he tried to grab a falling Pizza box! Shame he didn’t show his on field catching skills here, however he did somehow manage to parlay the accident into a year’s free supply of DiGiorno Pizza’s.
He should be a popular addition to the locker room (not just because of the free pizzas) being a bit of a spokesman and a leader, and the Browns could easily choose a worse mentor for Josh Gordon.
Whether this leads Cleveland to pass on Sammy Watkins is debatable, however it has probably increased Jonny Manziels stock in their scouts eyes.