Two Cleveland Browns Make PFF's 'Most To Prove In 2024' List

PFF released a shortlist of NFL players with the most to prove in 2024. Both Deshaun Watson and Jedrick Wills Jr. made the list of seven players.
Aug 11, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) celebrates his first down run with offensive tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. (71) against the Washington Commanders during the first quarter at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 11, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) celebrates his first down run with offensive tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. (71) against the Washington Commanders during the first quarter at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports / Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
In this story:

After mandatory minicamp concludes in mid-June and we wait for training camp in July, this becomes one of the slower times for major NFL news. While there may not be too many groundbreaking stories, some random lists and rankings often seem to come out around this time.

Pro Football Focus is one source of some of these lists and happened to post one of interest to Cleveland Browns fans on Sunday. This list was titled, "Which player has the most to prove in 2024?" Although this list only contained the names of seven players with another spot asking for fan engagement with other options, two Browns' names were mentioned.

Not only was quarterback Deshaun Watson's name at the top of the list, but his blindside protector Jedrick Wills Jr. also grabbed a spot.

Joining Watson and Wills was Steelers' quarterback Russell Wilson, Titans' wide receiver Calvin Ridley, Giants' quarterback Daniel Jones, Texans' cornerback Jeff Okudah and Panthers' quarterback Bryce Young.

One of the more interesting things about this group of players is that three of them are on new teams in 2024. Wilson, Ridley and Okudah are all looking for fresh starts in new uniforms.

As for Watson and Wills, they are not exactly new to the Browns. Watson joined Cleveland via a trade with the Texans back in 2022. In his two seasons with the Browns, Watson has only played 12 games. His first season was cut short due to his suspension and last season was shortened because of his shoulder injury.

NFL quarterback throws the ball towards the camera in practice uniform.
Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson throws a pass during minicamp, Thursday, June 13, 2024, in Berea. / Jeff Lange / USA TODAY NETWORK

Watson does have plenty to prove this next season because Cleveland is expecting him to be the franchise quarterback they traded for a few years back. Of course the organization, fans and even Watson himself desire a productive season statistically. In order to get to that point, double-digit games and ideally a full season should be the priority. If Watson can remain healthy, then he has an opportunity to showcase his full ability, which has not truly been seen since 2020 with Houston. In that season, he passed for nearly 5,000 yards and 33 touchdowns.

Jedrick Wills Jr. has been with Cleveland since being selected tenth overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. At Alabama, Wills played right tackle as he protected the blindside of lefty quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Football player walks with helmet in hand.
Oct 16, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. (71) walks off the field after the Browns lost to New England Patriots at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports / Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Upon arriving to Cleveland, he was switched to left tackle to protect the blindside for right handed quarterbacks. The transition has not been perfectly smooth for the tackle and his time with the Browns has been a bit of a rollercoaster.

Last season, Wills suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Arizona Cardinals and had arthroscopic surgery back in December. In 2024, Wills will look to come back healthy and ultimately try to secure a future spot on the Cleveland Browns' roster. He is set to become a free agent in 2025.

If Wills can play well this coming season, then that should also benefit Watson as he looks to get time in the pocket and remain upright this year.


Published
Cole McDaniel

COLE MCDANIEL

Cole McDaniel is a contributor to both Browns Digest and Cavs Insider. He is the Vice President of Operations for Kee on Sports, most notably serving as lead NFL Draft analyst and the play-by-play voice for high school football. He can also be heard on numerous Baldwin Wallace University athletics broadcasts and has served as Cleveland SC's color commentator since 2019. Cole is a 2019 graduate of Baldwin Wallace where he also played soccer.