The Cleveland Browns struggled to a 7-10 record last season, hampered by solid but at times unreliable play and uncertainty at a quarterback position manned by Deshaun Watson and Jacoby Brissett.
The Browns bolstered their quarterback depth in the 2023 NFL Draft with the addition of former UCLA star Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who finished his college career as the Bruins' all-time leader in total offense, total touchdowns and touchdown passes.
While Thompson-Robinson slipped all the way to the 140th spot in the draft, he has at least one big-name supporter in current New York Jets and former Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers recently released a video welcoming Thompson-Robinson to the NFL, and praising him for his play at the college level.
“DTR, what’s up man? Congratulations and welcome to the league, buddy,” Rodgers said. “(I’m) Excited to have you in Cleveland so I can watch you develop, watch you play, watch you prove a lot of people wrong who passed on you many times.”
Rodgers, who has dealt with his own haters and doubters in recent times, also offered advice to the young Browns signal caller.
“Now you just get a fresh new batch of haters and deniers.
“I’m excited to watch you in your career. Loved watching you play at UCLA, loved watching you beat up on USC. I’m excited to meet you.”
Thompson-Robinson, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound quarterback, threw for 3,169 yards, 27 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season while rushing for 645 yards and 12 scores.
The Browns are expected to start Watson at quarterback next season, as well as a talented offensive lineup including running back Nick Chubb and wide receiver Amari Cooper.
If Thompson-Robinson manages to find playing time, he will have plenty of weapons, and support from colleagues like Rodgers, to draw upon.