Rookie receiver Gordon flashing for Browns

Rookie receiver Gordon flashing for Browns

BEREA, Ohio (AP) Slightly sunburned and plenty relaxed from a summer excursion through the Caribbean with his wife, offensive coordinator Brad Childress returned home to learn the Browns had a new player.

While Childress was chilling, Cleveland selected wide receiver Josh Gordon in the NFL's supplemental draft.

The name didn't ring a bell.

``I got off a cruise boat and somebody said, `We signed Josh Gordon,''' Childress said. ``I said, `Who's Josh Gordon?' Honestly.''

Childress now knows Gordon well.

The rest of the league is quickly finding out about him, too.

With three touchdowns - two on passes over 60 yards - in the past two games, Gordon is becoming the big, play-making wide receiver the Browns have craved. At 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, the faster-than-he-looks Gordon has the physical makeup to be a star. It's up to the 21-year-old rookie, who was asked to leave Baylor after twice testing positive for marijuana, to make it happen.

``He can be tremendous,'' Browns tight end Benjamin Watson said. ``He can make all the catches. He's fast. He's strong. The biggest thing with him or any young player is being consistent and learning how to practice. He can be as good as he wants to be. He just needs to improve on his weaknesses and he doesn't have many.''

After catching seven passes in his first four games, Gordon has busted out the past two weeks.

He ran past New York's secondary and hauled in a 62-yard pass against the Giants for his first career touchdown on Oct. 7. He added a 20-yard TD in the fourth quarter. Last week against Cincinnati, Gordon hooked up for a 71-yard score, snagging rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden's wind-blown throw with one hand before racing to the end zone.

Those big plays have boosted Gordon's confidence. He was way behind when he joined the Browns because he sat out a full season after transferring from Baylor to Utah.

He's literally catching on.

``It's done a great deal just helping me gain confidence,'' he said after practice Thursday. ``More trust in the offense, the team, the coaches, the quarterback, myself, just being real confident in knowing I can go out there and make plays.''

Gordon nodded and smiled when told Childress didn't know who he was when the Browns took him in the second round of July's supplemental draft, forfeiting a second-round pick in next year's draft to get him.

``I believe it,'' Gordon said. ``A lot of people really didn't. But now that I'm here, I definitely want to make a name for myself.''

Gordon's evolution as a downfield target has given Cleveland's offense a much-needed shot in the arm.

The Browns' lack of a deep threat has allowed defenses to cram the line of scrimmage and shut down the run. It's tough to break off a long gain with 22 players crammed inside a 10-yard box. Gordon, though, brings speed and quick-strike potential that teams have to honor, opening the field for the Browns - and expanding Childress' playbook.

Gordon's long TDs the past two weeks will make defenses wary.

``The fact that he's gotten behind some people and done it twice now,'' Childress said. ``That won't happen all the time. Defenses are set up not to let you do that. They will be much more mindful of where he's at. It helps you take the top of things and move people away from the line of scrimmage and make them play you with a deep threat.''

Gordon has seen mostly one-on-one coverage. If he continues to make big plays, he could force teams to double-team him, which could open things up for his teammates. It hasn't gotten to that point yet, but Gordon believes it it's just a matter of time before Cleveland's No. 13 is getting extra attention.

And if he doesn't?

``Hey, it's better for us,'' he said.

Because of his off-the-field troubles in college, Gordon came to the Browns as a player who had a lot to learn, and a lot to prove. He came with the label of a problem child, but Gordon has been a model citizen and is beginning to understand what it takes to be a pro.

It's taken a little longer than some expected, but Gordon is beginning to shine.

``I think the light is going on,'' Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. ``He's making improvements. I made that comment based on what I see all week long, based on how I see him function in the building, based on the way I see him function in meetings and then how he's practicing more up to mine and our standards.''

Gordon knows his past hurt his stock, and he understands why he would have been unknown to Childress.

``I was sitting out a whole year of college, I fell off the radar and I'm a long ways from where I was so I'm not surprised,'' he said. ``But now that I've gotten my opportunity, I definitely want to come out and make a name for myself.

``Hopefully we can go back and laugh at it later.''

NOTES: WR Greg Little was sent home with flu-like symptoms and missed practice. ... Shurmur expects RB Trent Richardson to play Sunday against the Colts. Richardson will wear a flak jacket to protecting a rib injury. ... Browns G Jason Pinkston also missed practice with an undisclosed illness. ... WR Travis Benjamin expects to dress this week after missing two games with a hamstring injury.


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Wizards' second round pick Issuf Sanon will take time, much like Tomas Satoransky did


Wizards' second round pick Issuf Sanon will take time, much like Tomas Satoransky did

The first round of the NBA Draft played out expectedly for what the Wizards had planned for the night. In Troy Brown, they clearly got the guy they wanted all along, seeing as there were many interesting prospects they passed on to choose him.

The second round was a bit more chaotic. Team president Ernie Grunfeld said there were a few players picked just ahead of them at No. 44 that they had their eyes on. They contemplated trading up, but no perfect deals were presented.

So, they decided to think long-term, like really long-term. In choosing Ukrainian point guard Issuf Sanon, the Wizards understand it may be years before he plays in the NBA.

"We hope to have him developed in a few years," Grunfeld said.

Sanon, just 18, plays for Olimpija Ljubljana in Slovenia. He may stay in Europe into his 20s before he comes to the United States.

The Wizards have utilized the draft-and-stash model with other players. Their 2015 second round pick, Aaron White, has been playing in Europe for the past three seasons.

Sometimes those players never convey and contribute for the Wizards. But sometimes they do and Grunfeld pointed to a player already on their roster as a model to consider.

"We drafted Tomas [Satoransky] at an earlier age, he went overseas [and] he played at the highest level and it got him ready for the NBA," Grunfeld said.

The difference between now and then is that the Wizards have a G-League franchise starting this fall, the Capital City Go-Go. Because of that, it seemed more likely going into the draft that the Wizards would use the second round pick on a guy who can play there right away. 

Grunfeld, however, opted for roster flexibility. By keeping Sanon in Europe, the Wizards can have another open roster spot. They could either fill that spot, or leave spots on the end of their roster open as they did for much of last season.

"We want to preserve a roster spot, so just because you draft someone in your second round, if you sign him, he still has a roster spot even if you let him play for the GoGo," Grunfeld said.

Sanon may have a bright future. He is a 6-foot-4 point guard with impressive athleticism who doesn't turn 19 until October. He said he models his game after Russell Westbrook, as a guard who can score the ball.

The Wizards passed on several interesting prospects to pick Sanon. Still on the board were Keita Bates-Diop of Ohio State, Hamidou Diallo of Kentucky and Svi Mykhailiuk of Kansas, three players they brought in for pre-draft workouts. But instead, they went with a long-term investment, hoping they found the next Satoransky.


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Capitals Draft Tracker


Capitals Draft Tracker

The 2018 NHL Draft starts on Friday with the first round and runs through Saturday. Here's a running tracker of the Caps' picks.

1st round, 31st overall: D Alexander Alexeyev, WHL, 6'4", 196 pounds

The Caps' first first-round pick sine 2016, Alexeyev is a smart two-way defenseman with good size.

Read more on him here.

2nd round, 46th overall (from Florida, via New Jersey): D Martin Fehervary, Allsvenskan (Sweden), 6'2", 194 pounds

A physical style defenseman who is very strong in his own end, but does not have much offensive upside. Sort of a throwback style of play which makes him a surprise pick this high.

2nd round, 47th overall (From Colorado): F Kody Clark, OHL, 6'1", 179 pounds

Kody Clark boasts an NHL pedigree as the son of Wendel Clark, a first-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs who recorded 330 goals and 564 career points in 763 NHL games.

3rd round, 93rd overall: F Riley Sutter, WHL, 6'3", 203 pounds

Riley Sutter also boasts a strong NHL pedigree as the son of Run Sutter and nephew of Darryl Sutter.

Riley is a power forward who played alongside Caps prospect Garrett Pilon on the Everett Silvertips in the WHL and recorded 53 points in 68 games last season.

4th round, 124th overall: G Mitchell Gibson, NAHL, 6'1", 187 pounds

A Harvard commit, Gibson posted a 1.59 GAA and .935 save percentage in the NAHL last season.

6th round, 186th overall: 

7th round, 217th overall: