The Browns May Have Something in Dorian Thompson-Robinson

Thompson-Robinson led two touchdown drives in the Hall of Fame game

Dorian Thompson-Robinson of the Browns looks to pass.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson led the Browns to a comeback win.
Getty Images

With the Super Bowl nearly six months in the past, fans of the National Football League are desperate to get their football fix in any way, shape or form. Hence, Thursday night’s Hall of Fame game between the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns.

With starting quarterbacks Deshaun Watson and Aaron Rodgers — and all the other stars on both teams — on the sidelines, the Browns and Jets largely had rookies, reserves and players who are on the roster bubble on the field last night in Canton.

Kellen Mond started at quarterback for the Browns and played the first half, going 7-of-12 for 49 yards with a TD pass and an interception. His counterpart for the Jets, former first-round pick Zach Wilson, was 3-of-5 passing for 65 yards and set up a score with a 57-yard completion to wide receiver Malik Taylor. Largely considered a bust, Wilson had the Jets staked to a 16-7 lead at halftime.

Thanks to Mond’s replacement at quarterback for the Browns, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, that lead did not hold up.

Drafted in April out of UCLA, the rookie fifth-rounder played the second half for Cleveland and completed 8-of-11 passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. Thompson-Robinson also ran for 36 yards on six carries and threw a block that sprung Demetric Felton Jr., his former UCLA teammate, for a touchdown as the Browns rallied for a 21-16 win over the Jets.

“All instincts,” Thompson-Robinson said of the block. “I’m out there playing as hard as I can for my teammates. I seen Felt was going to cut back and kind of how the hole was going to open up and all he had was one person to be back sideways was the corner. So I figured I’d stick my nose up there real quick.”

While there’s no way that Thompson-Robinson will unseat Watson as the starter in Cleveland given the treasure trove of assets that the Browns surrendered to acquire the controversial ex-Texan, there is a possibility he will pass Mond on the team’s depth chart and move into a backup role. There’s also a chance that Cleveland may design some specific plays and packages to get Thompson-Robinson on the field at the same time as Watson in order to utilize his playmaking ability. A third possibility? It’s August and everyone is overreacting because no one has seen pro football in months and Thompson-Robinson doesn’t make it out of camp.

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Here’s what has to say on the matter: “If we’re basing the final call between Mond and Thompson-Robinson solely on the Hall of Fame Game, the latter wins it by a wide margin. DTR brings juice and improvisational skills that Mond simply doesn’t have, and he took the Browns from a sleepy, listless unit to one that marched down the field for two touchdowns with relative ease. We’ll see if he can keep it up and earn a roster spot.”

It’s only August, but we hope so.

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