With the NFL Draft coming up in a few weeks, free agency signings have come to a crawl, but Monday could be known as the day that the Cleveland Browns upgraded their receiving group relatively cheap, as they only had to offer David Nelson, formerly of the Buffalo Bills, a one-year deal.
After two promising seasons to start his career, last season was supposed to be a break out year. He was expected to continue his northward travels to becoming a very solid receiving option for Buffalo and was someone who was even being targeted in fantasy football leagues. But those expectations never came to fruition.
In the very first game of 2012 against the New York Jets, Nelson tore his anterior cruciate ligament and missed the remainder of the season. Due to the extent of the injury, the Bills did not see value in bringing Nelson back and allowed him to walk.
Now with Cleveland, Nelson is expected to compete with the likes of Travis Benjamin and Jordan Norwood for playing time alongside Josh Gordon and Greg Little.
If he can prove to be healthy, Nelson will give quarterback Brandon Weeden another solid target, and could possibly be the final key to solidifying a promising group of young wide receivers.
Greg Rosenthal seems to agree as he wrote, “After years of being a problem position in Cleveland, we’re not quite ready to call this receiver group a strength just yet. But GM Michael Lombardi has many more pressing needs on draft day.”
Nelson should go undrafted except for the deepest of fantasy leagues this year, but still is someone that you will want to keep your eye on and possibly pluck off of the waiver wire if he seems to be receiving solid targets.