With the second week of June ending, NFL teams have begun to wrap-up OTAs, and that includes the AFC North clubs. Let's take a look around the division for who and what are making headlines.
One of the biggest stars of Browns OTAs has been rookie running back Duke Johnson. According to ESPN's Adam Caplan, Duke has been "the most impressive" RB in Browns OTAs. He even sees the former Miami Hurricane as a three-down back, something the Browns haven't had since Jamal Lewis gave them a few good years before retiring.
Quite frankly, the Browns haven't had a consistent RB since returning to Cleveland in 1999. Like most positions on the roster, it's been an annual rotation at that position, but so far, Duke looks like a guy who could be a long-term star.
GM Ray Farmer and RBs coach Wilbert Montgomery have both publicly compared Johnson to Bengals RB Giovani Bernard.
Bengals fans won't like hearing this, but Alvin 'Bud' Dupree has looked really good in Steelers OTAs. In the first week of OTAs, Dupree had already impressed fellow first-round pass-rusher Jarvis Jones. Their position coach, Joey Porter, has also been impressed with Dupree.
In fact, Dupree is already getting first-team reps at outside linebacker in OTAs. With Jones having yet to emerge in the NFL to go with James Harrison aging, Dupree could easily become Pitt's best OLB as a rookie.
"Everything is starting to click," Dupree said. "(My goal is) to show them I know the plays and show them they can trust me."
In desperate need of a reliable tight end, Baltimore struck a deal with the Cardinals to move up in this year's NFL draft to get who they viewed as the best TE. That was Minnesota's Maxx Williams, who now has a great shot at being Baltimore's No. 1 TE this year.
The 6'4", 249-pound Williams led Minnesota in receptions (36), yards (569) and receiving touchdowns (eight) this past season. With Dennis Pitta considering retirement and no other clear-cut TE on the roster, Williams is taking this position over in OTAs with his impressive play.
That said, Williams is just focusing on getting the playbook down and adjusting to the NFL.
"For me, my goals are just go out there and play," Williams said. "And, really, whatever [media is] saying about that, really, I can’t affect that. All I can do is do what I do, and that’s go out there every day and try to improve, try to earn my spot on the team and go out there and try to make plays."