No one among the members of the Browns rookie class has used up more bandwidth over the past couple of months than wide receiver Jordan Payton.
Since the end of May's rookie minicamp and up until the beginning of last week, Payton was across the country at UCLA finishing up his spring quarter. Four courses shy of graduation, Payton was able to walk at his commencement earlier this month.
By day, Payton was a student, what he's been for the previous four years of his life. By night, he was locked on to his iPad learning the playbook or watching one of the team's OTAs or minicamp practices. He regularly communicated with Browns coaches throughout this period, asking as many questions as he possibly could to make up for being thousands of miles away from the goings-on in Berea.
"I was watching at night and I was like, 'man, I wish I can be out there,'" Payton said Tuesday at the Cleveland Browns Football Camp at FirstEnergy Stadium. "But you've got to handle the situation you're in and finish up what you've got to do, and now I'm here.
"You always adapt to the situation you're in ... just get it done. If I'm far away and can't practice, just get it done, study the playbook and make things happen for yourself."
Payton was the third of four wide receivers selected by the Browns in the 2016 NFL Draft. The fifth-round selection is coming off a season in which he recorded a career-high 1,106 receiving yards and set a UCLA record for career receptions.
Lauded by members of the Browns front office and coach Hue Jackson for his well-rounded skill set, Payton has elicited confidence in those members of the organization for his ability to catch on quickly when training camp begins in late July.
"Do we wish he was here so that he could learn the nuances of our offensive system? Yes, but at the same time, we get it," Jackson said. "When he gets here, hopefully, he's not too far behind, but you would think he is because there's been so much football that we've been through. He deserves an opportunity, and we'll give him that."
Last year, first-round defensive lineman Danny Shelton was similarly wrapping up his coursework throughout the majority of the Browns offseason workout program. He returned for minicamp, which was two weeks later in the schedule last year than it was this year. Shelton went on to start 15 of 16 games in his rookie season.
Payton will log what will be two weeks with his fellow rookies before they break for the rest of the summer. He called his return to Berea, which has included valuable lessons learned in the team's rookie transition program, "a blessing" so far.
"We've been getting after it and working out and finishing up these rookie sessions," he said. "I'm excited to get after it and I'm excited to get back for training camp."