With COVID-19 limiting Cleveland Browns camp, will Jedrick Wills be ready?
We opened the mailbag and Cleveland Browns fans asked the questions. Today, we respond to a FaceBook question about Jedrick Wills.
Ryan Frank asks: ”With limited reps and a cancelled preseason, is Jedrick Wills going to be ready by Week 1 to make the transition to LT?”
Answer: The entire NFL will face a challenge to be prepared for the 2020 regular season (assuming it still happens), but the Cleveland Browns will have as tough of a road as any. With Jedrick Wills and Grant Delpit extremely likely day one starters at left tackle and safety, as well as Jacob Phillips expected to compete for time at linebacker, practice reps are crucial to get these guys ready for week one.
Delpit and Phillips will likely hold crucial roles in 2020, but none on the team will be as crucial as Wills. As the starting left tackle, Wills will be a major factor in the overall success of the team. If Baker Mayfield is running for his life again all season, there is a strong likelihood of failure, but if the offensive line can give Mayfield time and allow plays to develop, the NFL better look out for the Browns to do big things in 2020.
Remember, Wills is not only transitioning from college to the NFL, but he is also switching from right to left tackle. Even with a full offseason and preseason schedule, there is a chance that Wills wouldn’t be ready to play. But with no preseason and only 14 full-contact practices, the question has to be asked if Wills will be ready to make such a big transition? Don’t get me wrong, there will be a few difficult moments in the beginning, and I wouldn’t recommend a deep pattern to Odell Beckham the first play of the season. However, Brown’s fans should feel confident in Wills ability to adjust quickly for these reasons.
One; offensive line coach Bill Callahan. No, Callahan can’t line up across from him and get him practice reps, but he has been working on pass sets from the left side and studying game film from day one. Remember, the offensive line is likely the second most mental position on the field behind the quarterback.
If you can tell what the defense is doing, knowing where the twists and blitzes are coming from becomes that much easier. While it may take a few series to adjust to the game speed, look for Wills mental game to be razor-sharp. That and the guidance of the great Callahan, the transition will be much easier.
Two; the SEC. I know I know I know, us Buckeye fans hate to hear that, but there is some truth to it, and it should bring some comfort heading into 2020. Wills has performed against the highest college talent while at Alabama, which will make the adjustment to the NFL that much easier.
Finally, this kid has talent. He wasn’t drafted No. 10 overall because he still needs to develop a few parts of his game. Wills has shown on film that he is the real deal and could be an all-pro type tackle in the NFL.
Again, there will be a play here and there at the beginning where Wills may look silly but look for him to learn quickly and have the position mastered by week the middle of game two. Wills has plenty of tools around him to get the necessary work in without the preseason and a shortened camp. Oh…don’t forget about Nick Chubb either folks.
Nothing slows a defensive end down faster than a running back that can take it the distance on any play.