Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 11/17/14
After what seemed like years of spending high draft picks on the defensive side of the ball, the Browns focused on the offense this past April. RB Trent Richardson came off the board first, a pick higher than the Browns even had going into the draft. At number twenty-two in the first round the Browns grabbed QB Brandon Weeden. RT Mitchell Schwartz was the pick in round number two, and speedy WR Travis Benjamin went to the Browns in the fourth round. Then in mid-July, the Browns surprised many by giving up a second round selection in 2013 to take WR Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft. Reviews on that selection were mixed at best, with most figuring Gordon wouldn’t contribute much if anything in 2012. By the time training camp was a week old, it became obvious that Brandon Weeden was going to get the nod at QB to start the season, and Trent Richardson would certainly be the feature back so long as he was able to recover his knee injury in time. With a little bit of luck, the Browns would have found their leading QB and RB for the season and beyond in the draft. Now twelve games into the season, the Browns have a trio of rookie skill position players on the verge of doing something historic. Brandon Weeden will lead the team in passing this season even if he doesn’t take another snap. His 2,820 passing yards are tops for a Browns rookie QB in franchise history. He has thrown for 300 yards or more in a game three times already this season, which is also tops for a Cleveland rookie QB. His 4 wins as a starter tie Bernie Kosar for most by a rookie QB. He is 180 yards shy of the 3,000 yard mark. Trent Richardson has rushed for 827 yards on the year. He leads the team by well over 600 yards. He is third in rookie rushing yards behind Jim Brown and William Green. He needs only 115 yards to eclipse that record. (It should be noted Jim Brown reached that mark in a 12 game season.) Richardson is 173 yards away from becoming the first Browns rookie RB to run for a 1000 yards. He already owns the total yards from scrimmage total when you add in his 339 yards receiving. Josh Gordon leads the team in receiving yards with 646. He also has the lead in touchdown catches with 5. Greg Little has 408 yards receiving. Little also has one more reception than Gordon, but Trent Richardson is the team leader with 44. Gordon needs 354 more yards to become the first Browns rookie WR with over 1000 yards. The Browns are on the verge of having a rookie lead the team in passing, rushing and receiving. This got me wondering… has this ever happened before? I have to stop and thank Jacob for his help with the stats here. I was going slightly crazy trying to come up with this answer. The short answer is yes, it has been done before. It actually has been done by the Browns before. In 1946, Otto Graham led the team in passing with 1,834 yards. Marion Motley rushed for 601 yards and Dante Lavelli had 843 yards receiving. The 2012 Browns could become the eighth team in NFL history (so long as our calculations are correct) to have rookies leading the team in passing, rushing and receiving. The last time it happened? Try the 1976 Seattle Seahawks. The QB was Jim Zorn (undrafted free agent out of Cal Poly Pomona who didn’t make the Cowboys in ’75, got claimed by Seattle and made his debut with their expansion team in ’76). The RB was Sherman Smith (2nd round, 58th pick out of Miami University by Seattle). WR Steve Largent (4th round, 117th pick out of Tulane by the Houston Oilers, then traded to Seattle after the preseason) was the leader in receiving. Oh, and they were an expansion team that year. The last time a non-first year expansion team was led by a trio of rookies was the 1968 Buffalo Bills. There have been a few close ones. In 2003 the Houston Texans had a rookie lead them in rushing (Domanick Williams 1,031 yards) and receiving (Andre Johnson 976 yards) but their QB David Carr was a second year player. He did play quite a bit his rookie year as well. The same holds true of the 2010 Tampa Bay Buccaneers who had a 1,000 yard RB in Blount and a rookie WR (Mike Willaims) lead the team in receiving, but a second year QB (Josh Freeman). The 1996 St. Louis Rams were led by a rookie QB(Banks), and RB (Phillips) and had a rookie WR (Eddie Kennison) who had 924 yards receiving, but he didn’t lead the team in that category. (Isaac Bruce beat him in yards, receptions and TD catches.) What the Browns’ trio could achieve that no other rookie group has done would be to eclipse the 1,000 yard rushing and receiving marks with a 3,000 yard passer. Weeden and Richardson will hit their marks as long as they stay healthy. Josh Gordon needs to average 88.5 yards a game to reach 1,000 yards. Certainly that is possible. The Browns play the Chiefs, Redskins, Broncos and then the Steelers. The Steelers lead the league in pass defense. (Gordon had 60 yards receiving in the first meeting.) The Chiefs are ninth in yards allowed per game passing. Denver is sixth and Washington is thirty-first. I would say this week against the Chiefs would be a very important game for Gordon if he is to get to the 1,000 yard mark. Regardless of the possibility of the rare achievement, what Browns fans should really hope for is that this trio has some of the same success as the last Browns rookie trio. The Browns won four AAFC championships and three NFL championships under Graham and Lavelli, with Motley contributing to those titles until 1953. All three are in the Browns’ ring of honor. All three are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. Something for this current trio to aspire to.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Adrian Peterson goes on social media rant regarding contract

Report: John Wall, friends kicked off plane in Las Vegas

Broncos OT Ryan Clady suffers torn ACL in practice

Report: Buffalo Sabres to hire Dan Bylsma as head coach

Marc Trestman will make Joe Flacco a Pro Bowler

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Could Tyrod Taylor be the Buffalo Bills’ savior?

Chicago Bulls fire Tom Thibodeau after five seasons

LeSean McCoy refuses to return Chip Kelly's calls

Brandon Marshall and Geno Smith are living together

Ex-Blue Devil tweeted Durham police pulled gun on him

Nick Saban gives Jim McElwain a ringing endorsement

Seattle Mariners: Back to .500

JJ Watt doesn't care for chance to be on 'Hard Knocks'

McElwain compliments Muschamp culture at UF, previous staff 'snakebit'

Montreal mayor to meet Manfred in hopes of getting a franchise back

Five things we'd like to see on 'Hard Knocks' with the Texans

Chipper Jones challenged military veteran to fight

President Obama answers NBA questions on Twitter

'Entourage' creator rips Eli Manning for ditching movie

TUF weekly recap by NOS® Energy Drink

Ronda Rousey upset with Bethe Correia for suicide comments

The Cleveland Cavaliers are top (under)dogs

Bryce Harper on his breakout

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

JJ Watt doesn't care for chance to be on 'Hard Knocks'

Ryan Clady suffers torn ACL

'Entourage' creator rips Eli Manning

TUF weekly recap by NOS® Energy Drink

Brandon Marshall, Geno Smith are roommates

The Cavaliers are top (under)dogs

Bryce Harper on his breakout

WATCH: Jon Lester sets MLB hitless record

Six moves that made the Warriors NBA title contenders

USA Soccer, CONCACAF losers in FIFA’s ‘World Cup of fraud’

The 3-point shot has become a divisive metaphor in the NBA

Corey Crawford is the weakest link for the Blackhawks

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.