Former AFC North Pro Bowl WR has high praise for Browns rookie Jamari Thrash

Thrash was selected in the fifth round of the 2024 NFL Draft
Jamari Thrash
Jamari Thrash / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

The Cleveland Browns have received mixed reviews in the Andrew Berry and Kevin Stefanski era for their wide receiver draft picks. Cedric Tillman, David Bell, Anthony Schwartz, and Donovan Peoples-Jones are the names that come to mind of draftees since 2020. Among them, Peoples-Jones would be considered the most successful, and he and Schwartz are no longer with the Browns.

The latest to join the team is 2024 fifth-round draft pick (156th overall) Jamari Thrash, 23, who played college football for Georgia State from 2019-2022 before transferring to Louisville for the 2023 season. The Georgia native caught 31 touchdowns for over 2,800 yards in his high school career.

Browns fans are waiting for the breakout rookie star but look at each year's drafted wide receiver with cautious excitement. Thrash has elicited multiple opinions ranging from not having any distinguishable traits to high praise from Steve Smith Sr., former Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens wide receiver.

What Smith Sr. said

Football analysts agree that Thrash is a skilled and fast route runner, but Smith believes his potential goes above and beyond. Smith said typical speedy route runners are capable of successfully completing three to four routes. He believes that Thrash's football IQ, field awareness, and ability to run any route given to him could be the source of untapped potential for him as he develops into an NFL wide receiver.

Smith watched tape of Thrash and evaluated his Pro Day performance and "loved what he saw." He called Thrash a "chain-mover" and "deep threat."

If Thrash is as good as Smith thinks he is, where does he fit on the 2024 Cleveland Browns roster? The Browns may not have drafted successful wide receivers, but the team has traded, with minimal capital expended, to get Jerry Jeudy, 25, Elijah Moore, 24, and Amari Cooper, 29, in recent years.

Thrash joins this crowded wide receiver room of established veterans. It remains to be seen how successful he will be, but at a minimum, he will spend time working out and at training camp with Jeudy, Moore, and Cooper which can only help his development in the long run.

Rookies picked in later rounds face tough challenges quickly getting up to speed while trying to make the team. Thrash will be challenged to live up to Steve Smith Sr.'s words and carve out his role on the team.

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