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Potential 2023 Draft Breakouts for the Browns

OTAs are underway across the NFL, building anticipation for the 2024 season among fans and media alike. In Berea, OH, there’s been a focus on faces of the Browns franchise such as Deshaun Watson, who is aiming to be 100% after a throwing shoulder injury sidelined him for the remainder of the 2023 season. Additionally, new additions like Jerry Jeudy, who has had his highs and lows in the NFL, have drawn attention as fans wonder if he will live up to the contract extension he signed earlier this year after being traded to the Browns from the Denver Broncos. Amidst all this excitement, younger players drafted by the Browns in the 2023 draft may soon be poised for a breakout, yet they aren’t getting as much attention. Today, I’ll discuss who these players could be.

Cedric Tillman

Cedric Tillman had Browns fans excited to see him in brown and orange entering his rookie season last year. His larger frame and deep ball ability, often making defenders look silly downfield during his time as a Tennessee Volunteer, was exactly what the Browns’ receiving corps was missing. Last season, however, Tillman had a quiet rookie campaign with 21 receptions and 224 receiving yards. With another receiver option added to this core in Jerry Jeudy, taking even more pressure off of Tillman, and changes to a more pass-heavy scheme with offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, I can easily see Tillman becoming one of Deshaun Watson’s favorite targets in the 2024 season.

Siaki Ika

Siaki Ika is another player who seems lost in the shuffle despite fans being excited about his rookie campaign after the 2023 preseason. Ika appeared in just four games last year for the Browns despite this hype and was all but a non-factor. Ika had a bigger build, which is not typical of the Browns’ interior defensive linemen under defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. During OTAs, however, Ika looks more in shape than ever. For a player who was drafted in the later rounds of the NFL draft, I expect Ika to rotate in with the other defensive tackles on this roster and contribute more overall.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson

Yes, I think Dorian Thompson-Robinson has strong promise as a player this year in the NFL, but unfortunately, I do not think it will be for the Cleveland Browns. This off-season, the Browns signed veteran backups Jameis Winston and Tyler Huntley, which to me shows the writing on the wall for the quarterback nicknamed “DTR.” Dorian now looks to be the odd man out in the Browns’ quarterback room as the play styles of Watson, Winston, and Huntley all relate more closely than he does with any of the three. Dorian Thompson-Robinson started in multiple games for the Browns last year, and that experience for such a young quarterback may entice a team to take a chance on the 6th-round draft pick, whether that be stealing him off the Browns’ practice squad or trading for him outright. I think the odds of Dorian Thompson-Robinson playing for a new team and potentially showing flashes of being a quality NFL player are higher than I’d like to admit after he has had just one season in Cleveland. Because of this, and the fact he is currently on the Browns roster, he makes this list as a potential breakout player from the 2023 draft.


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