With all of the struggles on the offensive side of the ball during OTAs and minicamps, the most impressive rookie thus far appears to be cornerback Eric Wright. Wright, who was selected in the second round of draft, saw his value fall due to off-the-field issues, including a transfer from USC to UNLV, throughout college. Although we don't want someone like Pacman Jones on our team, Wright could be the steal that elevates the Browns secondary to the next level. Wright began minicamp on the second team, but eventually saw some reps with the first team. Part of that had to do with the injuries to Leigh Bodden and Gary Baxter, but part of it also had to do with Wright's quick progression.
In regards to the offensive rookies, quarterback Brady Quinn spent his time with the third-team offense, while tackle Joe Thomas spent his time with the second-team offense. Part of that had to do with depth issues, while part of it had to do with the complications of Rob Chudzinski's offense.
Here are some other notes from minicamp, in general:
- Steal From Bengals: Could the Browns have gotten a big steal from the Cincinnati Bengals? The Browns are reportedly impressed with nose tackle Shaun Smith, a veteran who hasn't received much playing time in the NFL. If he is quicker than Ted Washington is and can still clog the hole in the middle of the line, he could receive some playing time this season.
- Upgrade Over Droughns: Were you sick of seeing Reuben Droughns get the football, move in the wrong direction, and get hit at the line of scrimmage for a one yard gain only? Hopefully that improves with Jamal Lewis, who has drawn nothing but praise from the local media and Browns coaches thus far.
- Winslow's Status: According to Tony Grossi, tight end Kellen Winslow could be in his best shape in four years, showing no signs of limp after surgery in the offseason. Maybe that means he'll be able to break tackles this year, or even get a quicker first step after catching the football while in a stationary position.
- Anderson Rules: Quarterback Derek Anderson wasn't kidding when he said that he shouldn't be left out of the starting quarterback job. After all, if the Browns want to start a veteran over Brady Quinn to begin the season, what gives Charlie Frye the right to automatically be handed that role? Anderson had the strongest arm in camp and had good pocket presence - one of the reasons he seemed to not be sacked as often as Frye was last year.