Cedric Tillman earns praise from Browns head coach

Cleveland Browns Offseason Workout
Cleveland Browns Offseason Workout / Nick Cammett/GettyImages

For the second year in a row, the Cleveland Browns went with an unexpected player with their first pick in the NFL Draft. In 2022, they took Martin Emerson — when few expected them to go cornerback early. Then in 2023, they grabbed Tennessee wideout Cedric Tillman.

Unlike corner, it was expected the Browns would go with a receiver early but Tillman didn't fit their normal mold due to his age (Andrew Berry typically shied away from 23-year-old rookies early). After the pick was made, it was said that Deshaun Watson let the front office know he liked big wideouts, who could win contested passes.

And after just a couple of days' worth of minicamps, Tillman is already catching the eye of his coaches as Watson is showing off how he will utilize the big wideout. On Wednesday, he was seen using his size to shield the ball and pull in a pass despite tight coverage.

Kevin Stefanski said that Tillman is doing a great job learning the offense and added that his best trait is "the ability to just body it up and go get the football."

Browns depth chart will be tough to crack for Tillman

As good as Tillman has looked, it's going to be hard for him to truly crack the lineup. Cleveland's depth chart is stacked — even with reports that they won't get DeAndre Hopkins. As of now, they have Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Elijah Moore, and Marquise Goodwin ahead of Tillman. It's also not going to be easy to surpass David Bell, a third-round pick from 2022.

Of course, one thing that could help get more receivers on the field is the fact that Elijah Moore has been lining up in the backfield.

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If that remains a staple of their offense, Tillman might get more chances. And if these practices are any indication, he's going to make the most of each opportunity he gets.