The Cleveland Browns are coming off a 0-16 season, but it’s not as bad as some may think. The Browns may have won only one game in the last two seasons, but there is still optimism in Cleveland. Forget what happened in the draft the last few years with their quarterback carousel and let’s focus on the future. We get it, mistakes were made, but now it’s time for Hue Jackson to right the ship. The No. 1 pick will probably be used on another quarterback, but it’s the No. 4 pick that has the most importance. This is where the Browns will need to select Calvin Ridley from the Alabama Crimson Tide.
One of the main issues for the Browns other than quarterback has been their receiving core. With Josh Gordon back, the Browns will need another weapon on the opposite side. Ridley is the perfect complement to Gordon. Both receivers have speed and the hands to go across the middle and take a slant pattern to the house.
The ground game is strong with Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson, now all they need is a quarterback who can deliver passes on the money. Maybe the Browns will choose to stick with DeShone Kiser or take one the many flawed quarterbacks coming out this year. It really doesn’t matter who they have behind center at this point as long as they can get the ball in the hands of playmakers. The one flaw that Ridley has, according to scouts, is his size. Ridley is only 6-1 and 190 pounds; however, some of the most dangerous receivers in the NFL are small in stature.
We went #Back2Campus with Calvin Ridley this fall and found a WR who had to leap over obstacles on his way to stardom.
— CollegeFootball 24/7 (@NFL_CFB) January 8, 2018
While at Alabama, Ridley caught over 220 passes for 2,700-plus yards and 19 touchdowns. Not the best of numbers, however, Alabama is not known for passing the ball like other schools. Their success is built on the ground game, which goes to show how dangerous Ridley can be if passing is featured. If the Browns can luck out with the top pick, sign Kirk Cousins, or make a trade for Alex Smith, then a combination of Ridley and Gordon could end the 2018 season as one of the best tandems in the NFL. It’s really that simple. Let Johnson and Crowell run, then hit Ridley and Gordon for the home run. How good is Ridley? According to Walter Football, he’s the top wide receiver in the 2018 class.
— Harvey Updyke (@Harveyrolltide) January 8, 2018
In Cleveland, it’s all about building a foundation. While the quarterback is the most important piece to the puzzle, he’s no good if he has no one to catch the ball. With the No. 1 pick, the Browns will be wise to either trade that for a veteran quarterback and use the No. 4 pick on Calvin Ridley out of Alabama.