Veteran wide receiver Nate Burleson was signed to a one year deal by the Browns a couple of days ago. Burleson now joins a Browns receiving corp of Josh Gordon, Andrew Hawkins, Greg Little and Travis Benjamin.
Burleson came from the Detroit Lions where he spent the last 4 years. As a Lion he was a very reliable possession type receiver who was also known for his leadership in the locker room. What he brings to the Browns locker room is his potential to mentor Josh Gordon, a player that comes with a history of off the field issues. Burleson will give him and the rest of the young receivers someone to look up to.
Currently the Brown hold the 4th and 26th overall selections in this years NFL draft. The scuttlebutt around the league news cycle was that the Browns intended to go after Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins with their 4th pick. The signing of Burleson no longer makes the wide receiver position an area of need so one has to wonder if they will pass on Watkins.
This draft class contains a lot of depth in the wide receiver position, the Browns could conceivably also pass one up with the 26th pick as well. Josh Gordon has already proven himself to be a number one receiver. Greg Little is towards the top of the league in targets last year, even with some pass catching trouble. Andrew Hawkins and Travis Benjamin both adda little something to the edge of the offense. So it seems like the Browns offense has a lot of talent giving them a lot of options to consider coming into the draft. Quarterback is a very good option with either of the two picks as well as possible answers for the holes in the corner back and at the guard positions.
Burleson strengthens the depth at wide receiver with his dependable veteran pretense, but adds the flexibility for the Browns to draft for best player available instead of pure need. Last season the Browns had the second youngest team in the NFL and with a division full of veteran experience Burleson adds to the youth of a team building for the future.