Quick, who is the NFL’s leading receiver this season in terms of yards? Megatron, A.J. Green? Wrong, the No. 1 wide out crown this year goes to the Cleveland Browns’ Josh Gordon. Setting an NFL record with back-to-back 200-plus yard performances in Weeks 12 and 13, Gordon put the league and the football world on notice. Now, let that sink in for a minute. No other wide receiver in the history of the NFL has ever had consecutive weeks to match this. Not T.O., not Moss, not even Rice. It adds to a tremendous sophomore campaign as Gordon posted 1,646 receiving yards, and by comparison to other star receivers speaks loudly about the path that he is on.
Second Season Statistics
Calvin Johnson - 78 receptions (1,331 yards)
A.J. Green - 97 receptions (1,350 yards)
Julio Jones - 79 receptions (1,198 yards)
Dez Bryant - 63 receptions (928 yards)
*Josh Gordon - 80 receptions (1,646 yards)
The most impressive thing about Gordon may not even be the actual yards, but how he was able to do it catching passes from three different quarterbacks. The Cleveland Browns have struggled through the years to find a franchise QB, and in 2013 were forced to run through a carousel of options due to injuries and inadequate play. However it did not seem to slow down Gordon who hauled in tosses regardless of who was under center. With a 6’3”, 225-pound frame, deceptive speed, and excellent ball skills, Gordon may well be on his way to becoming the greatest receiver in Cleveland Browns history.
But before we jump the gun, as we so often do now in the world of social media, let's not forget Browns' legends who currently hold the title of franchise best. Ozzie Newsome is perhaps the greatest receiver in Cleveland history, who still holds the record of 7,980 yards receiving for Browns' players. But to some, it may be Paul Warfield who by comparison lines up best when describing Gordon. Warfield’s overall numbers are very impressive with 5,210 career yards, 271 receptions, and 52 touchdowns his years with the Browns. Add an additional 3,355 yards, 156 receptions, and 33 TD’s with the Miami Dolphins and you have a 13-season Hall-of-Fame career. One of the most remarkable stats for Warfield in his career yards-per-catch average of 20.1 which is the highest all-time of any player in the Hall of Fame.
Being named as an All-Pro six times, selected to the Pro Bowl eight-times, and claiming two Super Bowl rings is a wide margin between Warfield and Gordon, however if the first two seasons of the newly anointed superstar is any indication, we could be on the brink of greatness once again.