The Cleveland Browns have drafted Tennessee WR Cedric Tillman with the No. 74 overall pick in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
There’s no telling what the Vols offense could have accomplished last season if they had a fully healthy Tillman. The 6-foot-3, 213-pound wideout was entering 2022 with a masterful junior year in his back pocket. He was hampered by injuries last year, appearing in just six games.
Nevertheless, scouts have seen what Tillman can do when he’s 100-percent. His 4.5 40-yard dash time helped rank him as the 10th-best WR at the NFL Draft Combine, and he has the right blend of toughness and physicality to become an instant starter at the pro level.
Tillman was one of the nation’s best pass catchers heading into the third game of the season in 2022. A left ankle injury that required surgery kept him from a spectacular senior campaign. While that certainly impeded his draft stock, he did more than enough in 2021 to be considered NFL-ready — recording the first 1,000-yard season by a Tennessee wide receiver since Justin Hunter in 2012.
The 23-year-old turned in 109 receptions, 1,622 yards and 17 touchdowns over his five-year Tennessee career. He also averaged 14.9 yards per catch.
How can Cedric Tillman impact the Browns in 2023?
The Browns drafted quarterback Deshaun Watson another weapon. Amari Cooper will be the WR1 in this offense, but the rest is up for grabs. Donovan Peoples-Jones, Elijah Moore and Tillman will all compete to fill out the depth chart behind Cooper. With his talent, Tillman could easily wind up as the WR2, and barring a struggle at adjusting to the next level, I don’t think he falls past the team’s WR3.