David Njoku didn't flinch at a dose of tough love from Browns coach Hue Jackson.
Njoku, the rookie tight end and 29th overall NFL Draft pick, struggled with fumbles on the second day of training camp, and Jackson told the former Miami standout it wasn't acceptable.
"He's right," Njoku said Saturday. "Obviously, they chose me in the first round for a reason – it was to make plays."
Njoku, who is expected to play a significant role in the team's offensive plans this fall, has shined bright since coming to Cleveland. With a chiseled 6-foot-4, 250-pound frame and NBA-like athleticism, Njoku could pose a mismatch for opposing defenses.
"He's a very athletic guy. There are aren't a lot of people in the country that are 250 pounds and are also seven-foot high jumpers," tight ends coach Greg Seamon said in June. "That part of it is really evident."
As the Browns work through camp, Njoku will be asked to step up in a young tight ends room that parted ways with veteran Gary Barnidge after four years. Njoku, Seth DeValve (10 catches, two touchdowns as a rookie in 2016) and Randall Telfer will battle to fill that void.
"We all have to step up and play that much harder," Njoku said, "whether it's in practice or games, to fill that spot that Gary left."
And Njoku, who caught 64 passes for 1,060 yards and nine touchdowns in just nine starts and 22 games at Miami, said any ball security issues will be taken care of.
"I'm just going to work that much harder," he said, "at holding onto the ball after every catch, tuck it."