When you think of the greatest receiving groups in the league today, who do you immediately envision?
There's Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen in Minnesota (2,145 combined yards in 2017); Marvin Jones and Golden Tate in Motown (2,104); Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster in Pittsburgh (2,450); and Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor with the Super Bowl champion Eagles (2,381).
But what about the remodeled receiving corps on the winless Browns? Josh Gordon thinks his unit deserves more respect. Way more respect.
"[The Browns] have the best receiving corps in the league, in my opinion, already, just based off of talent alone," Gordon told reporters during mandatory minicamp Tuesday. "So you put in the playbook and some guys that are hungry enough to go do it and hopefully you can go out there and show and prove that. That's just my opinion, but we're not short on talent at the wide receiver position at all."
When pressed to respond to his teammate's confident assertion, new Browns wideout Jarvis Landry doubled down, telling The Athletic, "He ain't lying."
That's high praise from Gordon and Landry for a pass-catching crew that has yet to play a full 60 minutes together.
Landry, acquired from the Miami Dolphins via trade this offseason, joins a receiver room already populated by Gordon, who has been out of the league, off and on, for the last three seasons; Corey Coleman, who has played in just 19 games over his first two seasons; and a slew of unproven youths, including Ricardo Louis, Rashard Higgins and Jeff Janis. Second-year tight end David Njoku and newly minted tailback Duke Johnson are also prime pass-catchers in Cleveland. (In 2017, Johnson led all Browns in receiving with just 693 yards.)
The former 'Fins wideout's production through his first four years is historically prolific (a record 400 receptions), and Gordon, at his peak, is a top-five talent at the position. But the two have never suited up together, and this is their first season with Tyrod Taylor under center and Todd Haley calling the plays. It's hard to glean what affect their pairing will have on opposing secondaries.
But it's clear that, despite the overwhelming newness on Cleveland's roster, optimism is permeating. Landry noted last week that the Browns' QB situation is 'a lot better' than what he had in Miami. Baker Mayfield gushed that he's never seen anyone like Gordon on a football field. Hue Jackson cleansed himself.