3 positives from first days of Cleveland Browns 2021 training camp
2. Some early standouts
Early in camp, there’s not a whole lot to see when it comes to competitive play. There are no pads and the players are in shorts, which means these practices are all about getting the conditioning right.
But that doesn’t mean some players won’t stand out. For example, second-year receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones has already made waves in the early sessions laying out to haul in some passes.
A sixth-round pick from Michigan last year, Peoples-Jones is part of a crowded receiver room but he has the talent to separate himself from the pack and could contend for the third spot on the roster.
That’s not going to be easy by any means, since Rashard Higgins is such a fluid route-runner — and has insanely sure hands — but DPJ has another gear and that speed could be huge. Especially if he continues to make jaw-dropping plays.
He wasn’t the only guy getting love either as Malcolm Smith also had his name mentioned as a player who turned in a good day on Wednesday according to Tim Bielik from Cleveland.com. Smith was making the plays in drills, so we can’t get too excited but he was a solid contributor a season ago and has a shot at a starting job again in 2021.
Of course, he could just as easily be off the roster since they’re suddenly crowded at linebacker with Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Anthony Walker, and Tony Fields coming over this offseason. Smith won’t be easy to push off the roster but he will keep needing to turn heads.