Zak Zinter all smiles after first practice with Browns at rookie minicamp

Zak Zinter
Zak Zinter / Aaron J. Thornton/GettyImages

Zak Zinter could have gone into the 2023 NFL Draft but wanted to run it back with the Michigan Wolverines and chase a title. He ended up with a National Championship but wasn't able to play in the title game since he suffered a broken tibia and fibula when Michael Hall, Jr. was blocked into him. He then slid into the third round of the 2024 NFL Draft and landed with the Cleveland Browns — who ironically took Hall in the second round.

This past week, Zinter, Hall, and the rest of the Browns rookies were in Berea for Rookie Minicamp. For Zinter, it was a huge step since it was his first practice not only as an NFL player, but also the first since the injury.

After his first practice, he met with the media and said it "felt great" to finally be back on the field.

"Oh, man, it felt great," Zinter said via Spencer German of Browns Digest. "I've been itching to get back out there on the field. You know what I mean? Going through the whole process and doing all that and not be able to compete and do anything, it felt great. That's what I've been working for my whole rehab is get back out there."

Zinter wasn't able to participate in the Scouting Combine but had private workouts to show teams he was making excellent progress in his recovery.

Browns new OL coach has plenty of depth to work with

During the practices, Zinter was able to work with Andy Dickerson, the new Cleveland offensive line coach. Dickerson was signed after Bill Callahan joined his son with the Tennessee Titans.

Callahan left behind a talented offensive line with more depth this season than in prior years. Zinter is widely regarded as a future starter in the NFL and is joined by Javion Cohen — an undrafted free agent with a bright future.

There's also Dawand Jones, a fourth-round pick out of Ohio State in 2023, who was excellent when he had to replace an injured Jack Conklin during his rookie season. They might also have Jalen Sundell from North Dakota State, although his name has suddenly disappeared from the depth chart.

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