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Browns rookie minicamp: Five stories to watch

Posted May 16, 2014

Players get their first taste of the NFL

The Cleveland Browns rookie minicamp gets underway Friday and wraps up on Sunday. Here are five things we will learn.

1)      Browns rookies should be making mistakes

A massive Harry Potter sized playbook was handed to these rookies upon their arrival. While all week was spent at the drawing board, walking through each play, there’s no doubt there will be confusion on the field during minicamp. And that’s a good thing. The Browns coaching staff is expecting mistakes – missed assignments on defense, incorrect terminology calls by the quarterbacks, wrong movement by offensive linemen etc. Coaches want these errors and miscues to happen now, so they can break down the film and make the proper corrections, instead of in training camp in July.

2)      Where will Joel Bitonio line up?

This is interesting. Because at this rookie minicamp, Bitonio will be the best offensive lineman on the field. Do the Browns accordingly put him at left or right tackle because of his superior talent these three days? Or do they start giving Bitonio reps at guard, the position Mike Pettine indicated Bitonio would learn as a rookie.

3)      How will Johnny Manziel look?

By all accounts, Manziel is a quarterback who looks his best during live game action, where his improvisational skills can flourish. But all eyes from the local media will be on the rookie quarterback Saturday. Every pass will be analyzed. Every smile will be examined. Every quote will be structured to turn heads.

4)      Which undrafted rookies will turn heads?

The Browns are open to adding more competition to the wide receiving corps. Ball State’s Willie Snead was a Biletnikoff semi-finalist for top receiver in the nation. San Jose State’s Chandler Jones broke multiple the school records at receiver. Then there’s running back Isaiah Crowell who burst onto the scene at Georgia but was kicked off the team for off the field conduct. He finished his career at Alabama State and has moves to open up some eyes. And of course, Connor Shaw is here. The South Carolina quarterback was a perfect 17-0 at home in his career and threw only one interception in 2013. Our PR staff details the full list here.  

5)      The height of the rookie cornerbacks

Pierre Desir is now the tallest defensive back on the roster at 6-foot-1. Justin Gilbert stands at 6-foot. The length of both of these cornerbacks is no coincidence. The media will have limited time to see individual drills, but it will be noteworthy if we some extra passes deflected to the turf from the new pair of corners.

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