Former AAF WR opening the eyes of Cleveland Browns during minicamp
The focus of Cleveland Browns mandatory minicamp was Odell Beckham Jr., but a former AAF wide receiver opened some eyes with his performance.
The Cleveland Browns wide receiver room received a big boost this offseason with the acquisition of Odell Beckham Jr. And with Beckham making his longest appearance of the offseason as a Brown during mandatory minicamp, all eyes were on him.
But on the final day of minicamp, however, Beckham sat out practice along with Jarvis Landry. Without the two starters on the field, it allowed some of the receivers fighting for roster spots to play extra reps.
One of the receivers who took advantage of those increased reps was Ishmael Hyman. Even when Beckham was on the field, Hyman was still getting time with the first-team offense.
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The Browns signed Hyman in April after attending the team’s minicamp on a tryout basis. The wide receiver went undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft and did not land on an NFL roster. He most recently was with the Orlando Apollos in the now defunct Alliance of American Football league.
Hyman played in five games for the Apollos, catching four of his eight targets for 60 yards. Hyman was teammates with Browns quarterback Garrett Gilbert, who’s strong play in the AAF helped him land with the Browns shortly after AAF players were allowed to sign with the NFL.
Hyman’s presence with the first-team was surprising, but mostly because he was playing more than Antonio Callaway. With how much work he was getting, the Browns may be wanting to get an increased look at Hyman and his abilities. And after the final day of minicamp, Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens praised Hyman’s play since joining the Browns – via Nick Shook of ClevelandBrowns.com.
"“Ishmael has done a good job,” Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said. “He came in and worked his tail off. He looks different now than he did at the beginning of phase two. And he knows more know than he did before phase one. So, he has done a great of keeping his head down and keep working. He is getting better. I think a bunch of those guys have gotten better and that is what we want to see. We just want to see little increases every day.” – Shook, ClevelandBrowns.com"
Hyman may have a tough road to make the Browns’ final roster, but he has done the most important thing at this point of the offseason: catch the attention of the head coach. If Hyman can continue to improve by training camp, he may have the inside track for one of the last roster spots.
Hyman also reportedly worked on the return units, so if he can perform on special teams, it will help his overall value. With how much Hyman was on the field, he will be a player to watch during training camp.