1. Baker Mayfield hammering away at weaknesses
As one of just two quarterbacks at the minicamp, the Browns’ No. 1 pick received plenty of reps with his new teammates. He also spent plenty of time outside of his comfort zone, as Browns offensive coordinator Todd Haley had Mayfield work from under center on a number of plays.
Mayfield, while operating a fast-paced, Air-Raid style offense at Oklahoma, worked almost exclusively out of the shotgun. He very well could take the majority of his snaps from the shotgun in Cleveland, too, but the Browns and Mayfield want the quarterback to feel just as comfortable under center when he’s thrust into his first, real action -- whenever it is.
“We are going to hammer that until I am good and it feels natural,” Mayfield said. “That is the way it should be because I can play out of the gun. Everybody here knows that. We are going to hammer that and we are going to work on what I need to work on so that we can go from there.”
2. Antonio Callaway’s speed is as advertised
The Browns believe they landed one of the top receivers in the draft when they selected Antonio Callaway in the fourth round, and Callaway certainly looked the part Friday and early in Saturday’s practice.
Callaway and Mayfield connected on a number of passes throughout the sessions, as the two rookies got their first chance to develop the chemistry that will be so important as their respective careers in Cleveland unfold.
“He is very, very fast – a fast man,” Mayfield said. “He makes good plays on the ball. When you have a guy like that and you get chemistry down, then it is dangerous. I had that with guys at Oklahoma. You get a talented receiver and then you know exactly what they are doing, you can do a lot with that. Looking forward to working with him. He is a guy that I think can help us out.”
Callaway fell to the Browns in the fourth round because of a number of off-field concerns. The Browns believe they have the right support system in place to keep Callaway on the straight and narrow and develop him both as a player and a person. Callaway said he was thankful for the opportunity and vowed not to let down the team.
“Some of my choices that I made in my past caused me to fall a couple of rounds,” Callaway said. “I have learned from them, moved on and became a better person and learned from mistakes day by day. Taking it day by day still, growing and maturing.”
Minicamp concluded Sunday.
3. Two draft picks dealing with injuries
Callaway’s weekend on the field ended midway through Saturday’s practice when he suffered a toe injury. It’s unclear when he’ll be able to return to the field, but Browns coach Hue Jackson has made it clear he’ll exercise full precaution with all injuries at this stage of the offseason.
That mindset is why cornerback Denzel Ward, the fourth overall pick in the draft, was only able to participate in Friday’s practice. The former Ohio State star is dealing with a hip flexor strain and was sidelined for the final part of Friday’s practice and the rest of the weekend.
“It’s just precautionary,” Ward said. “I wish I was out there with my guys but the training staff is being smart about it. I felt a little something in my hip (Friday) at practice but I should be back soon.”
4. Corbett gets 1st snaps at LT
Austin Corbett, the versatile offensive lineman Cleveland snapped up with the 33rd overall pick, began his Browns career at left tackle. He split repetitions with undrafted free agent Desmond Harrison, a physically imposing player with a high upside who drew praise from Jackson after Friday’s practice.
Corbett likely will stick at the position for the near future, joining a competition with the likes of Shon Coleman, Spencer Drango and Donald Stephenson, but also will receive work at other spots on the offensive line.
Cleveland’s end goal is to put its five best offensive linemen on the field when the season begins, and Corbett will have plenty of chances to prove he’s one of them.
5. Roster nearly at capacity
The Browns’ roster stands at 89, one short of the offseason maximum of 90, nearly one month into the team’s offseason program.
In the last two weeks, Cleveland has added nine draft picks, a fourth quarterback (Joel Stave), a young linebacker off waivers (Jermaine Grace), 13 undrafted free agents and two more who impressed as tryout players this past weekend (TE Julian Allen and DL Lenny Jones).
The roster is always fluid at this time of year, but the Browns have never been closer to having the group they’ll trot out to the field for the first day of training camp in late July.