5 players to watch at Browns' veteran minicamp

Three practices separate Browns players from their summer vacation.

The grand finale to Cleveland's offseason workout program commences Tuesday, when the Browns converge for their first of three mandatory practices. It's the closest thing to training camp -- without pads, of course -- before the start of training camp, which is set for sometime at the end of July.

It's an important period for every single member of the Browns' 90-man roster. Jobs aren't won or lost at this point of the offseason, but impressions are formed. Here are five players (and a few more) who have a particularly interesting storyline heading into this three-day camp.

QB DeShone Kizer - The second-round rookie has been working under the close eye of Hue Jackson, who has worked with a number of talented quarterbacks at this early stage of their respective careers. Kizer's had his ups and downs throughout OTAs, and that was to be expected. How he's responded from mistakes has been a point of praise from Jackson and a point of pride from Kizer. This week will give him a great amount of material to build off and apply toward his offseason training.

WRs Ricardo Louis, Rashard Higgins and Rannell Hall - The opportunities for serious snaps have been there throughout OTAs, as both Kenny Britt and Corey Coleman have been sidelined with minor injuries. It's unclear how active either Britt or Coleman will be next week, but, regardless, it's an important time for Louis, Higgins and Hall, who are looking to land a spot in the regular rotation at wide receiver. Of the three, Louis carries the most experience, as he served as a starter during Coleman's absence last season. Higgins picked up snaps as a big slot receiver during the later portion of the season while Hall, who was acquired late in 2015, missed all of 2016 with an injury he suffered in the first preseason game. Even when Britt and Coleman are 100 percent healthy, there should be room for at least a couple of these players in Cleveland's wide receiver rotation.

DB Jason McCourty - The veteran has fit in nicely as a cornerback so far, working behind the first group of Joe Haden and Jamar Taylor. Where he will be playing a few months from now remains a tad uncertain, and perhaps next week will provide some more insight. McCourty has never played safety in the NFL, but he remains open to the possibility. The end result might have more to do with the players competing at safety than it does McCourty, as Jackson has made it clear that he and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams are looking to put the four or five best defensive backs on the field, regardless of position.

DBs Calvin Pryor and Jabrill Peppers - The newest Browns defensive back and the first-round selection give Williams some versatile options at the back end of the defense. Both are hard hitters who are built like prototypical strong safeties and, as of Tuesday, had not been on the field at the same time as each other. That, of course, could change, as Peppers provides Williams with incredible versatility while Pryor could be used much differently by Cleveland than he was with the Jets. "It's the same as we have been going. We just added an extra guy to the mix now," Peppers said. "We are making it all about competition. They want the best guys out there. Calvin is a hell of a player so we are going to see how things go."

OL Shon Coleman - He's been first in line at the Browns' open right tackle job and the test will continue over the next week. Most often, Coleman has been lined up across from Emmanuel Ogbah, who has challenged the second-year lineman's pass protection ability. Coleman, though, will have to be equally efficient as a run blocker for a Cleveland offense that plans to feed the ball to Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson Jr. on a regular basis. Coleman's top competition for the job appears to be Cameron Erving, the former first-round pick who has played at a variety of positions along the offensive line.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content