Jedrick Wills must take step forward in 2023
When the Cleveland Browns selected tackle Jedrick Wills 10th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft the pick was made with the intention of being their left tackle of the future for years to come. Now entering year four, what appeared to be a likely outcome has now turned into uncertainty. The Browns need Wills to take the next step forward in 2023 and prove that he is worthy of sticking around.
Cleveland’s front office opted to pick up the fifth-year option on Wills, which on one hand is understandable and the other is not. The locked in salary for 2024-25 gives the Browns a quantifiable number to work off of when it comes to the salary of Wills which should allow them to properly allocate financial resources elsewhere. The problem is that the former Alabama right tackle will be paid $14 million next season and his time at left tackle in the NFL has not necessarily justified that commitment.
There are times when Jedrick Wills looks like a solid left tackle, and others not so much. Wills is able to handle the average and below-average pass rushers, but anything more than that and things become dicey. Add in the the times that Wills looks like he gives up on the play, standing around watching it play out and that is not the greatest look. This type of pattern and performance split is something that is often found in players who are average.
The issue is that Cleveland did not commit next year’s high dollar figure for average. They did not plan on taking a tackle that is nothing more than average at 10th overall. For the Browns to truly have their left tackle for the foreseeable future and Wills to prove he is better than a run of the mill tackle, he will have to step it up and prove it this season. If not, a future that appeared very certain becomes very murky rather quickly. And that is something that nobody in Berea can afford to happen.