Browns coach Hue Jackson’s message to the team’s newest members is simple: Every day is a job interview.
Jackson stressed that mantra as Cleveland opened rookie minicamp Friday, welcoming almost 60 youngsters that ranged from first-overall draft pick and quarterback Baker Mayfield to 28 tryout players.
“This is an opportunity for them. Your draft status doesn't matter,” Jackson said. “You're a Cleveland Brown now and you've got to earn the right to be in the locker room, how you work, everything you do.”
The session marked the first of a three-day camp that’ll give the Browns their first formal look at Mayfield, Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward (the No. 4 overall pick) and a promising draft class as members of the team.
The Browns, who enter their third season under Jackson and a new front office led by general manager John Dorsey, hope Mayfield and Ward play key roles in helping Cleveland bounce back from its first winless season and a 1-31 mark over the past two years.
Joining them are seven more draft picks: Nevada offensive lineman Austin Corbett (No. 33), Georgia running back Nick Chubb (No. 35), Miami defensive end Chad Thomas (No. 67), Florida receiver Antonio Calloway (No. 105), Memphis linebacker Genard Avery (No. 150), Texas A&M receiver Damion Ratley (No. 175) and Louisiana cornerback Simeon Thomas (No. 188).
The Browns also signed 13 undrafted free agents — including Tennessee receiver Evan Berry (the younger brother of Chiefs star safety Eric Berry) and Georgia defensive tackle Trenton Thompson — in addition to hosting 28 tryout players. “They're here to compete,” Jackson said. “They're here to earn a job.”
For the newest Browns to have success, they’ll need to assimilate into an overhauled roster that’s added 31 new players under Dorsey, including quarterback Tyrod Taylor, Pro Bowl receiver Jarvis Landry and free safety Damarious Randall.
Jackson said Friday seemed like a good start.
“We’re pretty simple rules-wise, but we mean what we say and say what we mean,” he said.
“I think our guys got that and I think they came out here with the right spirit today.”