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With training camp just a couple of weeks away, it is a perfect time to do some reviews for the Cleveland Browns. This offseason has been the third for GM Andrew Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski together. While their tenures are going to be marked primarily by their decision to trade for Deshaun Watson and move on from Baker Mayfield, there is more to review.
For Berry, returning to the Browns was a chance to make his name outside of that of Sashi Brown. Brown brought Berry to the Browns but proceed with one of the biggest tear-downs and rebuilds that had ever been seen in the NFL.
When Berry was hired, he made it clear that he would be aggressive in running the front office and that much has been clear.
With his third draft having just been completed, we take a look back at the first two drafts and what has been seen so far. His first selection was LT Jedrick Wills:
(AP Photo/Kirk Irwin)
Movement, Speed – Wills has shown the ability to get out in front of plays in the wide zone scheme. Wills gets out of his stance well and gets moving quickly.
Strength – When the former Alabama tackle gets his hands on a defender he is often putting them into the ground. He has the ability to control defenders with his hands and strong body.
Development – As a very young player, Wills has shown the ability to improve starting with his move to left tackle from right tackle. He has also dropped his penalities from 11 as a rookie to 4 in his second year.
(AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Consistency – While Wills has had his strengths, one of his biggest weaknesses has been his consistency. There are plays where Wills just doesn’t sink his hips, doesn’t maintain control of defenders or isn’t able to get to his spot in pass protection.
Health – Wills hobbled his way through the 2021 season with a problematic ankle. He ended up missing four games and being pulled from others.
Penalties – As noted, 15 penalties including 11 false starts has to be cleaned up.
(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Wills has been good, not great as Berry’s first draft pick. Going into his age- 23 season, Wills is looking to take the next step in his development. Improvement is not always linear but he has so far shown that he can make strides forward.
Coming into training camp healthy and in his third year as a left tackle, Wills is set to move into the top level of left tackles in the game if he can continue to develop. If he does, Berry’s first pick will be a home run.
If Wills’ development plateaus this year, it will be interesting what type of contract discussions happen in the next two seasons.
For now, Wills is a solid pick by Berry with a chance to be even more. So far so good for the 10th pick in the 2020 NFL draft.