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Addressing Cleveland Browns' needs: Tight end

Posted Feb 25, 2014

Senior Editor Vic Carucci has put together his list of needs, from nine to one, for the Browns to address through free agency and the draft. At No. 9, tight end.

The Browns did well relying on Jordan Cameron as their lone threat at tight end last season.

Cameron proved to be an ideal complement to superstar wide receiver Josh Gordon, ranking second on the team with 80 receptions for 917 yards and seven touchdowns.

He showed explosive run-after-catch skills on short and intermediate routes, and also the ability to stretch defenses on long passes. His exceptional athleticism and slick moves that he developed as a basketball player made him especially dangerous in the end zone.

But after Cameron, the Browns had virtually nothing at tight end. Gary Barnidge made little impact as a receiver and was ordinary as a blocker. Rookie MarQueis Gray made a tiny splash, especially as a runner from Wildcat formation, late in the season and could be an intriguing candidate for a backup role.

Still, the Browns have to have another tight end who can contribute solidly in the passing game. They must do as much as possible give defenses a reason to spread at least some coverage away from Gordon and Cameron, and they must have a legitimate replacement in case Cameron is injured.

The Browns aren’t likely to use any picks in the first two rounds on the position, so that would figure to eliminate top-rated prospects such as Eric Ebron of North Carolina, Jace Amaro of Texas Tech, Austin Seferian-Jenkins of Washington, and perhaps even Troy Niklas of Notre Dame.

But they could consider the likes of C.J. Fiedorwicz of Iowa, Arthur Lynch of Georgia, and Crockett Gillmore of Colorado State.

>>This Road to the Draft segment is driven by Liberty Ford.

>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET, for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford” on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com.

>>Have a question for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”? Ask me at Twitter.com/viccarucci or by e-mail at daily@clevelandbrowns.com or by calling 855-363-2459.