Cleveland, get ready to fall in love with Perrion Winfrey.
Winfrey delivered one of the most memorable introductory press conferences in recent memory Saturday over Zoom minutes after the Browns drafted him in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft. The defensive tackle out of Oklahoma paced around his house in Illinois and teamed with energy as he took questions from local reporters about how excited he was to find out he was coming to Cleveland.
"Excited" is an understatement.
"I expected to go early, but to be honest, I needed this," Winfrey said to open the call. "This was a wake-up call, and this gave me all of the fuel and all of the fire I needed to come into the league and dominate, so I wouldn't change a thing."
Check out photos of Browns 2022 fourth round pick Perrion Winfrey
That response was just the beginning of an epic six-minute interview that featured Winfrey voicing the word "dawg" eight times and mimicking a few barking sounds. He spoke in a high-pitched, motivational tone as though he was leading a team huddle for the entire interview, one that will be fondly remembered as Winfrey enters his rookie season in Cleveland.
"This is me," Winfrey said. "100 percent concentrated. No smoke. This is how I wake up – juiced up. To be honest, I just woke up at 10:40 a.m. It is 11:30 a.m., and I am juiced. No coffee needed."
The Browns will certainly appreciate that energy when Winfrey takes the field.
Winfrey ascended as a prospect the last two seasons with the Sooners by tallying six sacks and 42 tackles and showcasing an ability to forcefully move blockers in the interior. He was initially projected as a second-round prospect and was a common mock draft choice to land with the Browns when they owned a pick at No. 44 overall, but the Browns traded back from that pick and selected three other players with their Day 2 selections.
Cleveland had the third pick of the day to begin Round 3, and Winfrey was still on the board and ranked as one of the best players available. The Browns had yet to draft a defensive tackle in the draft and needed to add to the four other players at the position. Winfrey was an enticing option to kick off Day 3, and the Browns pounced.
"I love his game," Director of Player Personnel Dan Saganey said. "Perrion is a guy who is a great scheme fit for us as far as coming off the ball. He plays with violence. He plays with quickness, speed and power.
"Perrion is an extremely passionate guy. I think the Dawg Pound is going to love him."
Winfrey worked his way up the prospect ranks after he originally started his college career at the JUCO level. He played at Iowa Western Community College during his freshman and sophomore seasons before transferring to Oklahoma and establishing his strengths against the talent of the Big 12. He accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl and maximized the opportunity by bullying blockers and winning MVP.
"Anything in my life that I have to get, I had to go and get it," Winfrey said. "Nothing was ever given to me. That is where this comes from – this grit, this passion and everything about me. I have never had anything. Anything that I have ever had to get, it had to be taken so that is why I live my life the way that I live it."
Now, Winfrey has his next opportunity to be great in Cleveland. He'll harness that chance in a defensive line that features All-Pro DE Myles Garrett, and Winfrey can't wait to get started and flash his skills next to the three-time Pro Bowler.
"Oh, it's over with," Winfrey said. "Every third down, every second down, every first down, man, we are going to get that ball – I'm telling you."
Winfrey is bringing the energy, and Cleveland should embrace it accordingly.
"It's time to work," he said. "From this point on, I'm going to work because once I get in there, they are going to have to drag me up out of there. I am coming in every single day and putting my best foot forward every single day from this point on."