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Training Camp

5 early standouts from Browns training camp

The Browns have checked off 7 of 17 total training camp practices


Believe it or not, the Browns are already close to the halfway point of training camp.

Seven practices are complete — with just one of them featuring players in pads — and 10 practices still remain on the schedule. Several important dates are ahead, though, starting with the first preseason game Aug. 12 in Jacksonville. The Browns will have to make their first round of roster cuts from 90 to 85 players four days later on Aug. 16, and they'll host the Eagles for two joint practices on Aug. 17 and 18 before playing them at FirstEnergy Stadium on Aug. 21.

After that, training camp is technically over. The third preseason game is Aug. 27 against the Bears, and rosters will be trimmed to 53 players by 4 p.m. on Aug. 30. The Browns then have 12 days to prepare for the Week 1 game against the Panthers on Sept. 11.

Here are players who have stood out so far and will be worth monitoring as we inch closer to the season.

WR Michael Woods II

The Browns have been hit with injuries in the receiver room to begin training camp. Amari Cooper (ankle), Anthony Schwartz (knee), David Bell (foot) and Javon Wims (illness) have all missed practices, which has allowed Woods, a rookie sixth-round pick from Oklahoma, to receive a steady intake of reps.

Woods has capitalized on those opportunities and has looked comfortable in the offense. He's displayed an ability to create separation, consistently make catches and quickly accelerate upfield. A small number of his reps have come on the first-team, and it wouldn't be surprising to see Woods continue to work more with that group if Schwartz and Bell continue to miss time. Cooper returned to practice Wednesday and missed just one day with an ankle injury. 

Browns wide receivers coach/pass game coordinator Chad O'Shea has been impressed with what Woods has shown.

"He has tremendous work ethic," he said. "He is very smart. He is mature. He is taking the coaching. Certainly, for a rookie, I think he has been very professional in his development … He has made the most of his opportunities, and it has been very positive for Mike Woods so far."

Woods will likely play a decent amount in preseason games. The Browns would love to have any of the receivers behind Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Schwartz step up and show they're deserving of an elevated role in the pass game, and Woods has made an early case that he's at least worthy of more reps moving forward.

Check out photos of players and coaches working throughout camp

WR Jakeem Grant

Grant's main duties with the Browns will be served as a returner, but the seventh-year receiver has flashed with a few impressive catches and has looked like one of the fastest players on the field when the ball is in his hands. 

He's dangerous in the open field — which is how he's become one of the league's best returners the last few seasons — and the Browns will try to use those skills in creative ways with the offense, too. 

"He is an electric player," head coach Kevin Stefanski said. "He's fast. Certainly, somebody who we would love to use as we get into the regular season."

Grant has totaled 100 catches for 1,140 yards and seven touchdowns over his career, but he performed a bit better as a receiver when he was traded from the Dolphins to the Bears last season. He caught nine passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns in 11 games with Chicago and averaged a stellar 15.4 yards per reception. 

If he can maintain those trends in Cleveland, he'd undoubtedly be a productive asset to the offense.

CB A.J. Green II

Green has arguably been the top defender so far in camp. He recorded the defense's first interception last Saturday and has gotten his hands on a few other passes throughout the first week. He's mostly played on the second team so far but has also been used in nickel and dime packages as an extra defensive back.

Green was an undrafted rookie the Browns signed from Oklahoma State in 2020 and showed strides last season with six pass breakups and one interception in 12 games. He primarily was a special teams player but had three games where he played in over 50 percent of snaps — including games with 92 percent of snaps (Week 5 vs. Chargers) and 100 percent of snaps (Week 18 vs. Bengals). He was given an 86.2 overall grade by Pro Football Focus in that small sample size.

The Browns have three reliable players at the top of the CB depth chart with Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome II and Greedy Williams. Ward, a two-time Pro Bowler, remains on the active/physically-unable-to-perform list with a foot injury and has yet to practice in camp. The Browns also have third-round rookie Martin Emerson Jr., who has practiced well so far, too. 

Any additional talent Green can add to the group will be huge for its overall depth, which is always handy at a position that often maneuvers through injuries throughout the season.

TE Harrison Bryant

Bryant has been smooth catching the football and has been one of a few first-team players to catch a red zone touchdown. He's looked the part and ready for what will likely be his biggest role yet in the offense as they move forward with him and David Njoku at the top of the depth chart. 

Multiple tight-end sets might not be as featured of a component in the playbook this season, but Bryant will still be asked to do a lot in the receiving and blocking game. Njoku gave plenty of praise for how Bryant has developed the last two years since he was drafted in the fourth round in 2020.

"Oh my God, night and day," Njoku said. "Even when he came here as a rookie, he was very, very good. Each day, you can see his route-running, the catching the blocking — everything. Overall as a tight end, he's improving every single day."

K Cade York

York, a fourth-round rookie from LSU, is off to a perfect start in camp.

He's converted all 12 of his field-goal attempts and has displayed plenty of strength in each of them. His longest field goal has been from 51 yards, and he powered the kick through the middle of the uprights with several yards to spare. 

The ball really does boom of York's foot, and opportunities for him to kick from longer distances will likely come soon. The Browns have only completed two field-goal practice periods so far in training camp, but they have to be enthused about what they've seen from their new kicker.

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