3 early standouts at Cleveland Browns OTAs
By Randy Gurzi
Earlier this week, the Cleveland Browns OTAs began and while these workouts aren't padded, there's still plenty to learn. That's especially true for the Browns in 2023 as they're implementing a new defense under Jim Schwartz and also have Bubba Ventrone taking over as the new special teams coordinator.
There are also plenty of new faces in Berea as several free agent additions, as well as the 2023 rookie class, are getting acclimated to life in Northeast Ohio. And the good news is, the majority of the players who are standing out in a positive way are new faces.
Here, we look at three Browns who are quickly making a name for themselves during OTAs.
3. Browns S, Juan Thornhill
With the addition of Dalvin Tomlinson, Za'Darius Smith, and Elijah Moore, it's easy to forget about Juan Thornhill also joining the Browns this offseason. That's saying a lot about the talent the other additions bring to the table since Thornhill was an impressive signing.
A former second-round pick, he enters his fifth season in the NFL with 234 tackles and eight picks in his career. He's also coming off his second Super Bowl win and is bringing a ton of enthusiasm to the Browns defense.
On the field, Thornhill is already proving to be a versatile weapon. Known for his ability to play deep coverage, the veteran safety says that Jim Schwartz has him moving all around the field, which is allowing him and his teammates to learn every position and just play fast.
“He’s not really putting guys in a free safety spot, a strong safety spot,” Thornhill said via Ashley Bastock of Cleveland.com. “We’re just playing left and right, just basically so we can learn every position, pretty much. So I like him because he just let guys play football and play fast.”
Safety was an issue in 2022 and adding Thornhill and Rodney McLeod this year should go a long way toward fixing that problem.