Newsome will compete for the starting cornerback spot opposite of Denzel Ward, which Williams was penciled in for. Despite that, Williams was one of the first to welcome Newsome to Cleveland with a tweet following the pick.
“Welcome to the land!” Williams wrote.
Newsome responded, “Thanks bro!” accompanied by a handshake emoji.
Browns general manager Andrew Berry was asked about how the pick will affect Williams, who missed all of last season.
“Really this pick has no reflection or bearing on Greedy,” Berry said Thursday. “From our perspective, cornerback is a group where we want to be deep and we want to have a lot of guys who can cover. I think we saw the value of having really good cover corners last year, and that’s an area where we want to be deep over time.”
Newsome Eager to Join ‘Competitive’ Unit
Williams was not the only Browns player to welcome the first-round rookie. Quarterback Baker Mayfield was among the Cleveland players to reach out on Instagram and Denzel Ward also sent a tweet Newsome’s way.
“Thanks bro can’t wait to learn from you,” Newsome wrote in response to Ward, who was a Pro Bowler his rookie season.
Newsome spoke on joining a highly competitive secondary in Cleveland during his post-draft press conference.
“I know I am heading into a very competitive room. I can tell you that,” Newsome told reporters. “All of those guys are studs, starting off with Denzel Ward. That is somebody I honestly mirror my game after a little bit. That is a guy who I love watching, and it will definitely be great to learn from a guy like him. And a guy like Greedy. He was a top pick, as well. He has a lot to prove this season and things like that. I love going into rooms that are just competitive. That is something I live for. If I am not being challenged every day by the guy who is to the right or left of me, I do not think that is the marking of a very good team.”
Greedy Williams Set for Return After Missed Season
The Browns selected Williams in the second round of the 2019 draft. He was considered to be a first-round talent, but the LSU product dropped due to concerns about tackling. He’s mostly dispelled that criticism early on in his NFL career and proved to be a key piece of the defense, starting all 12 games he’s appeared in.
However, Williams missed all of last season with severe damage to the axillary nerve in his shoulder. He suffered the injury in training camp and there was much uncertainty around his condition, leading some to question his commitment.
“I put a lot of work in for year two,” Williams told Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot. “I wanted to be the best of the best. It was like, ‘Wow, I actually miss a whole year and people think it’s a fake?’ It’s not a fake. I don’t fake injuries and, you know, I’ve just never been that type of person. I love the game of football and I respect it so well. How could I fake an injury like that?”
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski pointed out Williams for his hard work this offseason in preparation to return to the field.
“Greedy continues to get good news, and I am just so happy for the kid,” Stefanski said. “He just battled his butt off in the rehab room for months and had a great attitude throughout. I am just really, really happy for him as he keeps getting better and better. He has a ways to go, but he is trending in the right direction.”
A team can never have too many good cornerbacks, and Newsome basically fell into the Browns’ lap at No. 26. It’ll be interesting to see what ultimately shakes out on the depth chart.