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OTAs & Minicamp

3 standouts from Browns minicamp

The Browns wrapped up three days of minicamp to finish out the offseason program

Standouts 6.14

The Browns officially wrapped up their offseason program as minicamp ended on Thursday. The next time they will all be at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus will be in July for the start of training camp.

So, the Browns used the last three days to their advantage, with an energetic and competitive atmosphere on the practice fields each day. They saw the return of QB Deshaun Watson to throwing in 7-on-7 drills, and the defense brought a high level of spirit to the red zone drills.

And while it was a productive few days for the Browns as an entire team, a few players stood out over the course of the three days of minicamp – which consisted of mostly low-tempo practices with the only true full-speed work in the 7-on-7 drills.

Cedric Tillman

Tillman stood out among the receiving corps as he took a number of reps throughout drills and caught passes from QB Deshaun Watson, QB Jameis Winston during offensive drills and 7-on-7 periods. He caught an intermediate pass during 7-on-7 from Watson and another in a red zone drill with CB Martin Emerson Jr. closely defending him in the end zone.

Wide receivers coach Chad O'Shea was impressed by Tillman throughout camp. O'Shea said Tillman was constantly in the building working out and didn't miss a day of preparation during OTAs and heading into minicamp.

Tillman finished his rookie season with 21 receptions for 224 receiving yards, as well as one carry for eight yards. With the work Tillman has put in, O'Shea sees that improvement in year two.

"He has taken every rep and used that as an opportunity to become better," O'Shea said. "Can't say enough about how well he's done on the field for us as far as his work ethic and making plays. I think he's more confident in year two, which you would hope is the case with a young player. But Cedric, I just spoke to him and spoke to the group about how impressed we've been with him and how much he's improved, and to see his development has been really great as a coach to see."

Martin Emerson Jr.

Emerson had some standout moments over the course of minicamp that showcased his ability to defend and break up passes. On the final day of minicamp, Emerson broke up a pass intended for TE David Njoku during a 7-on-7 red zone drill. He also tightly defended a reception by Tillman in the end zone.

Emerson is entering his third season with the Browns after a successful sophomore season where he led the team with four interceptions for 24 yards and tied for the team lead with 14 passes defended. He also ended the 2023 season with 59 tackles and one tackle for loss.

Cornerbacks coach Brandon Lynch highlighted Emerson's consistency over the course of camp, especially in the 7-on-7 drills.

"I know that we talk a lot about versatility, but really consistency and being available," Lynch said. "He's an extremely tough young guy who's accountable. He's resilient to the details, and he shows it on display."

Mike Hall Jr.

The rookie defensive tackle fit in well with the defensive line during minicamp. He appeared strong in all the drills as he showcased his speed, athleticism and his ability to rush the passer.

Defensive line coach Jacques Cesaire saw up close what Hall could bring to the defensive line and was impressed with Hall throughout OTAs and into minicamp.

"Mike's been great," Cesaire said. "He's been really serious and just all about ball. He's explosive. He knows how to rush already. We're tweaking some things right now with him, but he's physical, he's fast. I love the way he's cornering right now, and he's just scratching the surface of what he can do for us in this defense."

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