The Cleveland Browns added depth and size to their wide receiver corps with the selection of former Baylor University wideout
Gordon is a 6-foot-3, 225-pound wide receiver that ran a sub-4.6 second 40-yard dash during his recent Pro Day workout. However, he has not played since 2010 due to a suspension and transfer from Baylor to the University of Utah.
“It’s something that we really did our homework on,” Browns general manager Tom Heckert said of Gordon’s suspension in a conference call with the Cleveland media Thursday. “We brought the kid in here and I talked to a zillion guys, both at Baylor and Utah, and to be honest, I couldn’t find anyone to say one bad thing about the kid. I really enjoyed meeting with him. It’s something that’s out here. We felt good enough that he’s going to be a positive influence on our team.”
Gordon will be added to a Browns rookie class which already features quarterback
The first and second-round picks in 2010 and 2011 were on the defensive side of the ball. First, it was cornerback
“We made a conscious effort in the last two drafts to make our defense better,” Heckert said. “From a stat perspective and in our mind, we think our defense got a lot better in those two years. Now, we’ve got to load it up on the offense. They’re young, but we think we’ve gotten a lot better on offense in one draft and add Josh into the mix. We think we’ve gotten a lot better in the last few months.”
Gordon spent two years at Baylor, where he caught 43 passes for 721 yards and seven touchdowns. During his sophomore season with the Bears, Gordon caught 42 passes for 714 yards and a team-best seven touchdowns. He ranked second on the team in total yardage and finished with a 17.0 yards-per-reception average.
“I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to become part of such a prestigious organization as the Cleveland Browns,” Gordon said. “I can’t wait to get started and acclimated to a new city as well as the team. I want to be able to contribute to the offense in any way I can, and I am ready to come in and work hard to make that happen. I enjoyed my visit there last week and was very impressed with all of the people I met, including Mr. Heckert. I have also had the chance to speak with coach (Pat) Shurmur on several occasions and I am looking forward to the opportunity to play for him. Being taken this high in the supplemental draft and mentioned among the likes of Bernie Kosar is a humbling experience in itself, as well as a dream come true.”
By selecting Gordon Thursday, the Browns will not have their second-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
“He’s a guy we obviously targeted and felt good about and we’re happy we had the chance to get him,” Heckert said. “I don’t know if it’s risky. That’s kind of where we thought he was as a player. We thought he’s a guy that could come in and be an eventual starter for us and make plays for us. Anytime you draft a guy, there’s always some risk involved, but we think we got a good football player.
“He can run, has got huge hands and long arms. He’s an impressive-looking kid, but there were some concerns about him. I drilled him pretty hard when I was with him and he didn’t back down. He told me everything I thought I needed to hear from him. He promised he was going to be a guy that we were going to love having in Cleveland. He seemed pretty fired up about being a Brown. When he left, he said he hoped we were the team that picked him.”
In their history, the Browns have now taken eight players in the Supplemental Draft.
In 1984, the team selected running back Kevin Mack (Clemson), linebacker Mike Johnson (Virginia Tech), tackle Tommy Robison (Texas A&M), linebacker Doug West (UCLA), quarterback John Bond (Mississippi State), and wide receiver/kick returner Gerald “Ice Cube” McNeil (Baylor) in the Supplemental Draft.
A year later, the Browns traded four draft picks, including first-rounders in both 1985 and 1986, to the Buffalo Bills for the right to draft quarterback Bernie Kosar from the University of Miami. Kosar grew up outside of Youngstown, in nearby Boardman, Ohio.
After Kosar and until Gordon, the Browns had not used a pick in the Supplemental Draft.
“Most years, there’s not a player of Josh’s caliber in the Supplemental Draft, so you don’t hear about it very much, but we look at it as a positive,” Heckert said. “We’re getting a really good football player and we’re getting him a year early. If he plays like we think he’s going to play, obviously, it will be a good decision.”