Why am I watching? Because it’s the first opportunity to see the Browns play under game-like conditions. I get chills seeing the helmets and uniforms on the field for the first time every year. Other than providing valuable playing time for 2023 draft picks and young players, this is a meaningless game. My only hope is for no injuries and a competitive game. Not too many penalties would be nice, but that’s asking for too much.
What am I watching tonight?
Browns Offense Vs. Jets Defense. Tonight’s starting quarterback is Kellen Mond. Mond was a third-round pick of the Vikings in 2021. His only NFL game experience came during a game against the Packers. He completed two of three passes for five yards in the fourth quarter of a 37-10 loss. Drawing the most national attention will be Browns 2023 fifth-round draft pick Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
As for the skill positions, I’m looking forward to watching wide receivers Cedric Tillman and Austin Watkins. At running back expect to see plenty of Demetric Felton, Hassan Hall and John Kelly. I’m curious to see who starts at offensive tackle and how well Dawand Jones plays. For the Jets on defense, the national media is interested in seeing first-round pick Will McDonald who had 34 sacks at Iowa State last year. Other rookies for the Jets to watch are linebacker Zaire Barnes and cornerback Jarrick Bernard-Converse.
Browns Defense Vs. Jets Offense. The Jets have the advantage at quarterback, both starter Zack Wilson and Tim Boyle have NFL game experience. As for offensive rookies to watch for the Jets, tight end Zuntz and running back Israel Abanikanda. Rookies to watch on the Browns defense include defensive tackle Sika Ika, defensive end Isaiah McGuire and cornerback Cameron Mitchell. I’m really interested in watching rookie undrafted free agent linebacker Mohamoud Diabate, safety Ronnie Hickman, safety Tanner McCallister and defensive end Lonnie Phelps. Because the Browns offense didn’t practice running the ball very much during minicamp and so far in training camp, I’m intrigued to see how the run defense plays.
Finally, The Browns position groups I’ll be paying the most attention to are the wide receivers, the secondary and special teams. Because of Marquise Goodwin’s condition, there might be one opening at wide receiver. The starting secondary is set, but depth for the practice squad will be necessary. As for the special teams, both primary returners, Jaelon Darden and Jakeem Grant are hurt, so let’s see if a young player steps up.
The main things to remember, Mond or Thompson-Robinson will not supplant Josh Dobbs as the number two quarterback and most of the young players are playing for spots on the practice squad. I do know the majority of the national commentary will be about the Jets and the majority of the camera time will be showing Aaron Rogers.
Here’s to an injury-free, competitive game.