Landry tuned into the first two days of the draft for the Browns' first four selections. Day 3 featured rounds 4-7, but Landry, who had been in touch with Peoples-Jones for wide receiver advice in the weeks leading up the draft, didn't plan to watch as closely.
So, when Peoples-Jones sent Landry a message in the early afternoon, he figured it was simply about when he would be selected that day.
"Man, I can't wait," the message from Peoples-Jones read.
"Yeah, I know," replied Landry, who added that he was thinking about Peoples-Jones earlier in the day. "I can't wait either."
Then, Landry swiped out of the messages and checked Instagram. One of the first pictures that appeared was of People-Jones. The post was from the Browns. He was their sixth-round selection and Landry's newest teammate.
Landry misread the text message from Peoples-Jones. He was coming to Cleveland.
"I was like, 'Oh, wait. We drafted you,'" Landry said with a laugh Wednesday in a Zoom call with local reporters. "It was kind of like an awkward moment, but it was also a good moment to understand and know being around him and understanding his work ethic that we are getting a guy who can help us with all of the potential he has."
Landry had been receiving plenty of messages from Peoples-Jones before the draft and they've understandably increased since the Browns tabbed the Michigan standout with their final selection of the weekend. The two originally met in Florida when Peoples-Jones visited to train for the scouting combine, and he continued to poke Landry for tips about being an NFL wide receiver before the draft began.
It didn't take long for Peoples-Jones to mention his rapport with Landry in his video conference after the selection.
"Me and him have started to develop our relationship," said Peoples-Jones, who also said he met with Odell Beckham Jr. before the draft. "Those guys are Pro Bowl guys. I just can't wait to learn from them."
The Browns have selected Donovan Peoples-Jones in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Peoples-Jones will have plenty of opportunities to continue learning from them in the future. He signed his four-year rookie contract Wednesday and is set to compete for one of the receiver positions when he enters his first training camp in August.
He'll also be in a deep competition for the top punt returner, a role that Landry also knows well — he's returned 96 punts and has scored one touchdown since he joined the league in 2014. He also returned five punts last season.
Peoples-Jones was already asking Landry for advice about both of those positions. Now, he won't always have to do it through text messages. When NFL players return to team practice facilities, they'll be in the same room.
"He has a lot of questions, which I admire about him," Landry said. "He is asking me about punters, and he is asking me about guys on the team and all of the questions that I admire about him."
One of the biggest pieces of advice Landry has given Peoples-Jones is about staying in shape. No players could participate in on-field rookie minicamps due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and they face an uphill battle in preparing their bodies for the elite quickness and physicality that make the jump from college to professional football so arduous.
Landry, however, is encouraging Peoples-Jones to look at the unusual offseason from a positive lens. Doing personal workouts increases the likelihood that no rookies should enter training camp with an injury, and whichever newcomers are in the best shape will likely take a big step toward increased playing time in the fall.
"Right now, he has the opportunity to get their legs back under them," Landry said. "I just want him to listen to his body. I keep talking to him all the time, 'Just listen to your body. Trust your body. Trust what you are feeling right now and understand that a lot of people did not get this opportunity to kind of have this break with this quarantine,' which is kind of like a blessing in disguise."
Until the players do return, Landry expects to continue receiving texts with questions from his new teammate.
That's what rookies do, and as long as the Browns are away from their home facilities in Cleveland, Landry will always be there with a reply.
"From being around him the last two months, I see already that he is a hard worker," Landry said. "I see that he is eager to learn, and those are some of the things that I appreciate about him."