Less than two months have passed since the scouting combine, when the talk among fans was whether the Browns would be able to land Mississippi receiver D.K. Metcalf with pick No. 17 in the draft.
It seems like a lifetime ago.
That’s what Odell Beckham Jr. can do for a franchise.
When the offseason started, receiver was high on the list of needs for the Browns. The trade for Beckham Jr. erased it.
He takes over as the team’s No. 1 wideout, allowing Jarvis Landry and Antonio Callaway to slide into their natural roles as Nos. 2 and 3. The threesome ranks among the most talented in the NFL.
The potential doesn’t stop there.
Rashard Higgins re-signed as a restricted free agent and will compete with Damion Ratley, Derrick Willies, Jaelen Strong and Blake Jackson for the last couple of spots in the receiving corps.
General manager John Dorsey said Thursday “there’s depth in all fronts at the wide receiver position” in the draft, so he may choose to use one of his eight picks on one late. But the need isn’t there because Beckham is here.
That will be good to remember when the Browns aren’t picking at No. 17.
TOP OF THE CLASS — Wide receivers
Marquise Brown, Oklahoma: Only 5-foot-9, 166 pounds and coming off Lisfranc surgery, but is a dynamic playmaker because he can fly.
D.K. Metcalf, Mississippi: Someone 6-3 and a chiseled 228 pounds shouldn’t be able to run a 4.33 40. No one told Metcalf. But he isn’t a great route runner and caught just 67 passes in college.
A.J. Brown, Mississippi: Caught 160 passes for 2,572 yards and 17 touchdowns in his last two years, leaving with plenty of Ole Miss records. Good route runner and catcher.
Other notables: Parris Campbell, Ohio State; Deebo Samuel, South Carolina; Andy Isabella, Massachusetts
Keep an eye on for the Browns: Hunter Renfrow, Clemson; Stanley Morgan Jr., Nebraska; Preston Williams, Colorado State