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November 1, 2012 - Mike McLain
BEREA -- You would have been looked at in a strange way last year at this time if you had said the Browns have a strong corps of receivers.
Now it might be the strongest area on the roster because of the additions of rookie Josh Gordon, Josh Cooper and Travis Benjamin, along with the maturation of Greg Little. If Mohamed Massaquoi can stay healthy, coach Pat Shurmur will have some pleasant decisions to make when deciding which players to activate on game days.
Massaquoi is expected back for Sunday's home game against the Baltimore Ravens. He's missed five straight games with a hamstring injury. Until suffering the injury, Massaquoi had nine receptions for 145 yards.
The decision for Shurmur on Sunday will be how many of five receivers to activate. Massaquoi would seem to be a certainty, although a history of injuries would indicate that he won't stay healthy very long. Cooper has developed chemistry with quarterback Brandon Weeden. Gordon is a sure starter with his big-play skills.
General manager Tom Heckert can't be criticized for how he's re-built the receiving corps. That's exactly what happened during the offseason when he didn't address the position higher in the draft (Benjamin was the highest receiver drafted, in the fourth round). He then turned around and gave up a 2013 second-round pick for Gordon in the supplemental draft, which now appears to be a steal.
It's hard to name another position area that's in better shape. Maybe running back. Maybe the defensive line when Ahtyba Rubin and Phil Taylor return to health.
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