Baker Mayfield, Denzel Ward get promoted during OTAs

Mayfield takes snaps with second team offense, Ward with first team defense

Daryl Ruiter
June 05, 2018 - 3:11 pm
Browns rookie QB Baker Mayfield throws during the third week of OTAs on June 5, 2018.

Daryl Ruiter-92.3 The Fan

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Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Here’s some positive news from the Browns – both first round draft picks got promotions during week 3 of OTA.

Even if it might be temporary, it’s a great sign.  

Quarterback Baker Mayfield took reps with the second-team offense while cornerback Denzel Ward got some work with the first-team defense Tuesday.

“It’s a good opportunity for me to get different reps with the different guys,” Mayfield said. “You want to learn your players, you want to learn your receivers, what they’re good at and get timing down with them. It’s just an opportunity to get a feel for everybody and get comfortable with the team.”

It was the first time – at least for reporters – the 2 were seen working with those groups this spring.

The Browns selected Mayfield first overall and Ward fourth in April’s draft.

Head coach Hue Jackson cautioned reporters not to read to much into Mayfield working with the second team.

“I just mixed it up. There’s nothing behind that,” Jackson said. “I just think I want to keep tinkering with that a little bit. I made a decision this week with the staff to make him second and get him some reps there.

“There’s nothing to it, nobody should read into it. It’s an opportunity to go out there a little bit sooner than he has, that’s all.”

Jackson was pretty clear in saying that bumping Mayfield up to the twos does nothing to impact starter Tyrod Taylor.

“We have a starting quarterback,” Jackson said. “Tyrod still has to get those reps. Those reps are really important. He is the starter. He goes with the ones all of the time. With Baker, we are bringing him along. We are teaching him the National Football League. He has done an outstanding job working hard every day and making the most of his reps, but it is comforting for our team that we do have a starting quarterback.”

As for how practice reps will be divided between Taylor, Mayfield and Drew Stanton come training camp, Jackson has yet to work through that with offensive coordinator Todd Haley, but that will be a discussion for another day.

While Mayfield is not expected to start this season, Ward is expected to start in the secondary. The former Buckeye has not disappointed Jackson one bit.

“Ward being out there is because he is earning it,” Jackson said. “He is working at it. He is doing good things. He plays a position that we think we have been needing a gut to step up. We see things of him improving each and every day and doing the things that we are asking.

“He needs to continue to do that to continue to be out there, but we know that he is very talented. That is why we drafted him. He has displayed that since he has been here.”

The Browns will wrap up OTAs this week and hold their mandatory minicamp next week.