The tape didn't lie.
After watching second-round pick Greedy Williams go through his first practice with the Browns on Friday, coach Freddie Kitchens said he saw a lot of the traits he'd seen on film during the build-up to the 2019 NFL Draft.
“He is smooth," Kitchens said. "He transitions well from a back paddle and can close on the ball. He is long, of course, and then he competes.”
Williams, sporting a fresh No. 26 jersey, took the field with the rest of the Browns' 2019 draft class, 15 recently signed undrafted free agents and more than 30 tryout players at Friday's rookie minicamp practice, the first of three this weekend. The session put the players, who weren't in pads, on the field in a non-contact setting. As Kitchens said after the practice, it's a setup that gives the advantage to skill players such as Williams, who went through various drills with his position group before going one-on-one with receivers in passing drills.
The playing field will even a bit a few months from now at training camp, when Williams will look to earn a role in a Browns cornerback group that includes last year's first-round pick, Denzel Ward, and veterans Terrance Mitchell and T.J. Carrie.
After a whirlwind week that saw Williams go from Nashville for the draft's first round, to his hometown in Shreveport, Louisiana, for the second round and then to Cleveland a few days later, those kinds of long-term thoughts could wait for another day.
"Right now, I'm just focused on learning the playbook, getting everything, getting the base defense down and just coming in ready to compete for a spot," Williams said. "My chances are where I take them."
His chance to prove doubters wrong about his tackling ability, which was heavily critiqued by analysts during the pre-draft process, will wait until training camp. Kitchens, for one, isn't concerned because he knows Williams won't short-change him with effort.
"He is going to have to tackle some," Kitchens said. "When the ball gets out on the edge, we are not going to let him go. I don’t have a problem. Greedy is going to tackle. He wants to tackle. He is a willing tackler. That maybe have not all been on tape as an example, but peer pressure gets through them sometimes. It gets through our players, and if we have the leaders that I think we have, then he will tackle.”
Williams had first-round aspirations when he said goodbye to his college career but he hasn't sulked for a moment since Cleveland nabbed him midway through the second round -- a place general manager John Dorsey never envisioned he'd be available. He flashed a smile all throughout his first in-person interview with the Cleveland media and spoke highly of a place where he'd been for less than 24 hours, but believes was meant to be.
"My place wasn't going in the first round," Williams said. "My place was to be in The Land to come build with a great team, great coaching staff and I'm just happy to be here. Ready to get to work with the veterans and hopefully we're going where we're supposed to go."
Take a look at pictures of all seven members of the 2019 Cleveland Browns draft class.