Part 3 of our training camp preview for thewide receivers takes a look at the five undrafted free agents who are on the roster. Will any of them shine enough to warrant a roster spot?
9. CHANDLER JONES - UNDRAFTED FREE AGENT WIDE RECEIVER
The Browns reportedly showed some interest in Chandler Jones back at the East-West Shrine game. He was projected to be a 6th- or 7th-round pick, but ended up going undrafted.
Jones is a speedster, registering a 40-time of 4.34, which was second only to WR Brandin Cooks among the known receivers in the draft class. In college, Jones was San Jose State's all-time leader in receptions (248), receiving yards (3,087) and touchdown receptions (29).
Jones currently projects as the most likely undrafted free agent receiver to make a splash in 2014. His speed makes him an outside threat, and he's much younger than the 31-year old Anthony Armstrong, but his size might dictate a move to the slot at the NFL level, a position that's already pretty much secured by Andrew Hawkins. Scouting reports indicate that he gives good effort on blocks and always tries to work back to the ball; weaknesses included not having the strength to create yards after the catch. Here are some college highlights of him.
Final Roster Odds: 15%
Practice Squad Odds: 40% (if he doesn't make the final roster)
10. WILLIE SNEAD - UNDRAFTED FREE AGENT WIDE RECEIVER
Willie Snead is the greatest receiver in Ball State history, per our SB Nation affiliate, saying, "All Snead did was make plays at Ball State, so Browns fans not familiar with the MAC -- don't be surprised if he makes the final 53."
The scouting report on Snead says that he has great body control and good agility when running his routes. The knocks on him is that he's not a physical specimen and doesn't have great speed, meaning he fits more of the mold of a possession receiver.
Check out this article on Dawg Pound Daily for a more advanced look at Snead's potential and his prospects of making the final roster. He was banged up during some of the June offseason programs, but is expected to be ready for training camp. Here are some college highlights of him.
Final Roster Odds: <5%
Practice Squad Odds: 30% (if he doesn't make the final roster)
11. KENNY SHAW - UNDRAFTED FREE AGENT WIDE RECEIVER
According to DraftInsider, Kenny Shaw "comes back to the ball to make himself an available target, nicely adjusts to errant throws, and pulls the pass from the air with his hands" and is "quick, elusive, and effective running after the catch." The downside is that he lacks any real physicality and struggles to get off jams.
In addition to being a receiver, Shaw also handled punt return duties in college. The early stance we're taking is that Shaw will be in contention to be the Browns' kick returner, and potentially the punt returner if Travis Benjamin is still hurt. Even if he fulfills that role in camp, though, he'd need to really be electric in that role in order to also stick around as a receiver. Here are some college highlights of him.
Final Roster Odds: <5%
Practice Squad Odds: 15% (if he doesn't make the final roster)
12. JONATHAN KRAUSE - UNDRAFTED FREE AGENT WIDE RECEIVER
The Browns didn't get WR Jordan Matthews in the draft, so they signed the other Vanderbilt product in Jonathan Krause. Assuming the Browns scouted Matthews, perhaps they also looked at Krause while they were at it, and that's the reason he is receiving a shot this training camp?
Although Krause wasn't ranked high by Dane Brugler of CBS Sports, it sounds like enough people were interested in him, as Aaron Wilson reported that the Browns gave him a $10,000 bonus to sign with them.
Our SB Nation affiliate has a full scouting report on Krause. Krause wasn't invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, but he boasted around 4.37 at his Vanderbilt Pro Day. He only had one impactful year at receiver at the college level, with his other contributions coming on special teams. Here are some college highlights of him.
Final Roster Odds: 5%
Practice Squad Odds: 25% (if he doesn't make the final roster)
13. TAYLOR GABRIEL - UNDRAFTED FREE AGENT WIDE RECEIVER
Taylor Gabriel is tiny at 5-8, 167 pounds, which would make one think that his direct competition would be Andrew Hawkins. Hailing from Abilene Christian, Gabriel had 215 catches for 3,027 yards and 27 touchdowns during his college career.
Gabriel has good quickness, but he's not exceptionally fast or anything, with a 40-time around 4.53. When you already have a guy in Hawkins fulfilling the role of the waterbug, it will be difficult for Gabriel to stand out...that is, unless he starts juking third-string defenders out of their shoes. Like some of the other undrafted free agents, he'll be in the mix for a special teams position. Here are some college highlights of him.
Final Roster Odds: <1%
Practice Squad Odds: 5% (if he doesn't make the final roster)
That wraps up our previews for the receivers; we'll get to the tight ends next. Our poll today asks which of today's receivers you are most excited about.