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WRs Hakeem Butler, N'Keal Harry provide big target options for Browns beyond 1st round

INDIANAPOLIS -- Hakeem Butler believes he's the best wide receiver in this year's class, and the reason why rolled quickly off his tongue Friday inside the Indiana Convention Center.

"I'm 6-foot-6," Butler said. "Nobody else here is 6-6. I'm the biggest."

Butler's size is striking, and what he did with it as a junior at Iowa State is why he's considered among the best wide receivers in this year's draft. He's just not expected to be a first-round selection.

And that's OK.

The Browns' leading receiver, four-time Pro Bowler Jarvis Landry, was a second-round pick. Antonio Callaway, who led the team as a rookie with five touchdowns, was a fourth-rounder. Rashard Higgins, who blossomed in his third season with the Browns, was plucked out of the fifth round.

The list goes on and on and on when the rest of the NFL is included.

Ole Miss' D.K. Metcalf, a physical specimen who is projected to be a first-round pick, likely won't be available, but the Browns have options to inject talent into their receiving corps beyond the No. 17 selection. It includes a wave of players who have the always-coveted size and length Butler possesses.

"The receiving class in this draft class, there's a lot of big guys," Browns general manager John Dorsey said. "There's one or two smaller guys that are really exceptionally fast. Size and speed do different dynamics to the offensive game plan. I think it comes down to the individual person and what makes them click. I'd like to have a 6-3 guy that can run 4.3. I'd take that every day but you're not going to get those guys. You really want competitive guys that love the game of football."

Take a look at the top receiver prospects Browns fans should keep an eye on during the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.

Butler, who hauled in 60 catches for 1,318 yards and nine touchdowns in 2018, said he'd at least post a fast enough of a 40-yard dash time to prove skeptics wrong about his speed and quickness. He's spent the past few months working alongside two of best big targets in recent NFL history, Calvin Johnson and Anquan Boldin, as he's tried to iron out the kinks and weaknesses in his game, which includes a few too many drops and route-running.

"You put me on tape and you just see long legs eating up space. You don't know how fast they're moving," Butler said. "If you put me next to a small guy, you're going to see we're moving the same speed. I play fast. I firmly believe I play fast and I just have to show I can run fast on the track."

Even though the rest of the wide receiver class doesn't quite measure up to Butler on the height chart, there are plenty likely to be available on Day 2 and beyond who would stand as the tallest and biggest in Cleveland's room.

Arizona State's N'Keal Harry, listed at 6-foot-4 and 213 pounds, showed off his strength Friday, posting 27 repetitions on the bench press. He grew up idolizing Larry Fitzgerald and has kept in touch with recently signed Browns receiver Jaelen Strong, a former Arizona State star. Harry filled the void left by Strong nicely and produced at an elite level over his final two seasons with the Sun Devils, combining for 2,230 yards and 17 touchdowns.

The Athletic's Dane Brugler ranks Harry as his sixth-best wide receiver while puts him fifth, making him a likely Day 2 selection. The Browns hold the 17th picks in the second and third rounds, respectively, while also carrying New England's third-rounder, which is slotted at 95th overall.

North Carolina State's Kelvin Harmon (6-3, 217), Stanford's JJ Arcega-Whiteside (6-3, 223) and Texas Tech's Antoine Wesley (6-5, 199) are among the numerous other big targets that could give Baker Mayfield another option on the goal line and in the deep passing game.

"We're trying to upgrade all positions," Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said. "We're not set in anything we're doing right now."

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