Editor's note: Tony Grossi covers the Cleveland Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR.
Hey Tony: Now that Duke Johnson just got paid, who is the next Browns draft pick for us to watch out for?
-- Aaron, New Philadelphia, OH
Hey Aaron: I’ve answered variations of this question the same – Josh Gordon. As things stand, Gordon’s compensation for 2018 is $790,001, putting him behind teammates Jarvis Landry, Corey Coleman, Jeff Janis and Antonio Callaway. The figure ranks him 133rd among all NFL wide receivers, according to overthecap.com, making him quite possibly the best bargain in the entire league. We all know Gordon’s history. Because of substance abuse suspensions, he hasn’t appeared in more than five games in a season since 2013. He has cost himself untold millions of dollars. He is due to become a restricted free agent in 2019. If Gordon can stay eligible this year and produces anything close to his freakish ability, I can see the Browns rewarding him with a multi-year deal to head off a possible huge payday in unrestricted free agency in 2020. But Gordon would have to win the trust of GM John Dorsey by staying clean and productive through the first half of the 2018 season.
Hey Tony: The one group I've heard little of is special teams. Has there been any shake-up in lineup at these positions?
-- Erik, Millersburg, OH
Hey Erik: The new kickoff rules will reinvent the way teams return and cover kickoffs. They could result in smaller, faster players on kickoffs (defensive backs, receivers, running backs) and fewer bigger guys (linebackers and tight ends). So there will be a shake-up on those particular units. As for the others, I’d expect more of a shake-up because of the change in Browns special teams coaches. Antonio Callaway is expected to be the No. 1 punt returner and may also return kickoffs.
Hey Tony: I know the secondary has improved but are we deep at safety? I know Damarious Randall and Jabrill Peppers are expected starters. I assume Derrick Kindred will be one back up but what else do we have?
-- T.J., Wapakoneta, OH
Hey T.J.: Other backups are Derron Smith and Justin Currie. Also, cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun has seen time in OTAs as a dime (third) safety. The position group was a major weakness last year and it would appear to be improved. But keep in mind that while free safety was Randall’s natural position in college and strong safety was Peppers’, neither has played a game at those positions in the NFL.
-- Mike, Akron, OH
Hey Mike: My early speculation is that Hyde will begin the year as No. 1 and Chubb will spell him in the early going. Attrition will play a role in who’s playing in the second half of the season. No one can predict injuries. Dayes’ usefulness on special teams could save his roster spot, but I think it will be an uphill battle for him to get playing time in the backfield.
Hey Tony: What have you seen from Corey Coleman during the OTAs? I'm hoping the upgrade a WR in the offseason has lit a fire under him. Have you seen that at all from his demeanor on the practice field.
-- Liam, England
Hey Liam: I’ve only seen three OTA practices and can’t make any observation about Coleman’s performance other than that he is there.
Hey Tony: What can we expect from Todd Haley's offense that we didn't see from Hue last year?
-- Michael, Akron, OH
Hey Michael: More high-percentage throws – bubble screens, slants, swings to the backs. More physical running. Less pre-snap shifting. Fewer crazy formations.
Hey Tony: As they stand today, how do you rank the position groups? Strongest ones to weakest.
-- Buzz, Columbus OH
Hey Buzz: On paper, 1. Defensive line, 2. Offensive line, 3. Defensive secondary, 4. Receiver, 5. Running back, 6. Quarterback, 7. Linebacker, 8. Tight end. These easily could be juggled significantly after preseason. There are so many new faces – including coaches – that it’s hard to predict the strengths of this team.
Hey Tony: Do Dee and Jimmy Haslam realize the primary team colors are white and brown? Orange is a secondary accent color, primarily the helmet. It’s a phrase, “orange and brown”. You must tell them before the next uni redo.
-- Eddie, Akron, OH
Hey Eddie: Somehow, orange evolved as the team’s primary color. It’s an awkward color because nothing matches it. I think the orange helmet throws everything off. I would love to see some new uniform mock-ups incorporating the franchise’s original white helmet.