Check out photos from the third day of Browns Camp by team photographer Matt Starkey
It didn't take long for Greedy Williams to realize how different the NFL was when he stepped on the field at the Browns practice facility during OTAs for the first time in May.
The former LSU cornerback was among the youngest and smallest of the 90 players on the roster. His age, 21, suggests that his football instincts are still growing and, perhaps, not quite ready for the NFL level. His weight, 185 pounds, is almost always less than any wide receiver he lines up against.
But three days into training camp, Williams has shown why the Browns decided to trade up and select him in the second round for their first pick of the 2019 draft. Williams hauled in two interceptions on the second day of camp and hasn't slipped when lining up against veteran wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry.
Williams has already squashed the nerves that most — no, all — rookies have when they make the leap from college to the NFL. Those nerves left when Williams corralled his first interception in OTAs, and he's still playing nerve-free as he hunts for a spot at the top of head coach Freddie Kitchens' cornerback depth chart.
"When plays come my way, I make them," Williams said. "I just know I have to keep building. Come back every day, just keep building and put myself in a great position to be with the ones. Right now, I am just happy where I am. I am ready to keep building each and every day."
Williams is already locked in, and that's no easy task for a rookie cornerback tasked with impressing coaches while practicing against two Pro Bowlers. Landry and Beckham, who Williams was covering when he made his second interception Friday, haven't been thrown too many passes from quarterback Baker Mayfield with Williams in coverage.
If he keeps it up, Williams could see a lot more reps against arguably the top wide receiver duo in the league. That'd be Williams' preference anyway.
"That's a big boost," Williams said. "Those are high tier guys, if you got some of those guys on your team to make a defense better, then I'd rather have them two come out every day."
Williams has split reps between the first and second team so far, but it hasn't mattered which group he's lined up against — his positioning has been solid, and Williams would have three interceptions if it weren't for a drop he had on Day 1 of camp.
After the drop, Williams knocked out a few push-ups as punishment and riled up fans yelling his name from the bleachers behind him. It's scenes like those that have already made Williams a fan favorite even though he has yet to play a down in a Browns uniform.
"It's amazing," he said. "Just them welcoming me in, and they just want to see me do great on the field. That's one of the big moments you play for, and I just want to make them happy."
Williams wants to make Kitchens happy, too. His interceptions have certainly been noticed by Kitchens, but Kitchens won't rave about any player at this point in camp. It's still early.
Kitchens hasn't been able to assess Williams' tackling ability, which scouts criticized ahead of the draft, but that might change soon with more padded practices and preseason games looming.
"I think he needs to continue to get better at everything," Kitchens said. "He just needs to keep getting better every day. I don't know if there is any one thing I can point out. He just needs to get better."
Right now, though, Williams is comfortable. Not many players have had more fun than him, and Williams will meet the wishes of Kitchens if he keeps doing just that.