BEREA: Denzel Ward showed a glimpse of the potential the Browns saw during the buildup to General Manager John Dorsey drafting the Nordonia High School graduate fourth overall last month.

In an 11-on-11, goal-line drill Wednesday, Ward jumped in the back right corner of the end zone and knocked the ball out of the hands of wide receiver Josh Gordon on a pass from quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

It was among the highlights the cornerback from Ohio State produced in a strong outing.

“Very savvy rookie, very savvy, very confident,” veteran cornerback TJ Carrie said of Ward after the fifth practice of organized team activities. “I think that when you come into this league, confidence is probably one of your best friends in the sense that you are playing with grown men. If you are not confident with who you are as yourself, you lose that ability to play instinctively and very fast. As you can see, he played exceptionally well today, had a number of pass breakups, a number of great plays out there.”

Ward continued to practice with the second-team defense.

“This is a competition,” Carrie said. “Just because he may not be where he wants to be right now, if he keeps making plays, the cream always rises to the top.”

Coach Hue Jackson said he believes the more Ward competes against Gordon and the Browns’ other top receivers, Jarvis Landry and Corey Coleman, the more he’ll improve.

“Every day, I see him getting a little bit better,” Jackson said. “The speed of the game is not too big for him. The stage is not too big for him. He is out there making plays. He just has to continue to make more.”

Team game

Jackson said he talked to his players about the message LeBron James delivered after the Cavaliers defeated the Boston Celtics 87-79 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday. James pointed out in an interview with ESPN’s Doris Burke that critics continually rip his teammates but the performance of his supporting cast in Game 7 allowed the Cavs to advance to the NBA Finals.

“I thought it was tremendous,” Jackson said. “I thought what he said about his teammates and how they are a huge part of it and people that haven’t played the game or wore shorts or been in the locker room [don’t] understand what it takes to win, I thought that was sensational. So I said that to our football team.”

Taylor said James continued to show he’s “a true leader” in that postgame interview.

“He’s never selfish about his accomplishments,” Taylor said. “He realizes that it takes a team for him to be the person that he is, and he appreciates his teammates. How that can relate to us is no one person is bigger than the team. We’re going to need each and every person on the team healthy, first and foremost, but doing their job right to be able to execute and go win games week in and week out.”

No. 1 pick watch

Rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield didn’t take as many repetitions in 11-on-11 drills during Wednesday’s practice as he did last week when the second session of OTAs was open to reporters. He remained third in the rotation, behind Taylor and Drew Stanton.

“Just working the process for him,” Jackson said. “As we go, there will be more [reps] that he gets. We have got to start him off and get him acclimated to all of this.

“We drafted a very talented player. Glad that we have him. He works extremely hard. He is competing. He is competing hard.”

Mayfield is also growing more comfortable taking snaps from under center, Jackson said, after the reigning Heisman Trophy winner operated almost exclusively out of the shotgun at the University of Oklahoma. On one play from under center, Mayfield faked a handoff, spun and completed an impressive pass to tight end Seth DeValve on a seam route.

“He has all of the arm talent that I think you need to play,” Jackson said. “I do not think that has ever been a concern of ours at all.”

After throwing three interceptions in last week’s session open to media, Mayfield didn’t throw any Wednesday.

Taylor was picked off, though, when one of his passes deflected off Landry and into the hands of free safety Damarious Randall, who dived to record the takeaway.

Depth chart shuffle

Carrie worked with the first-team defense opposite fellow cornerback E.J. Gaines on Wednesday. Briean Boddy-Calhoun continued to work as a backup free safety, but he also spent time playing corner in the slot with the No. 1 unit. In the practice open to reporters last week, Carrie toiled with the second unit while Gaines and Terrance Mitchell took the first-string reps.

At this time of year, it’s not unusual for defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to change the depth chart from practice to practice to find out how players will react.

“He is unorthodox in a way that he is always switching the depth chart up,” Carrie said. “You come into work and you might not be where you are expected to be, but I think that he wants to see how you rise in those situations. He wants to see which players can handle which situations.”

Extra points

• Strongside linebacker Jamie Collins, who suffered a torn medial collateral ligament last season, practiced on a limited basis Wednesday after sitting out last week’s session open to reporters. Jackson said he believes Collins is on course to fully participate in training camp. “He is definitely making the progress that we feel he needs to make,” Jackson said.

• A groin injury prevented rookie receiver Antonio Callaway from finishing practice. “I would hate if he had to miss any time,” Jackson said, “but I would rather it be now than later on.”

• Jackson gave Coleman, who’s competing with Callaway for the No. 3 receiver role, a vote of confidence. “He has been dependable and accountable,” Jackson said. “He is working at it each and every day. For Corey, this is year three [in the NFL], and I think that he wants to take the next step in his development.”

• Right guard Kevin Zeitler sat out team drills with a hamstring injury, and Spencer Drango filled in for him with the starters. “I do not want to do anything that will have that [hamstring] aggravated,” Jackson said. “We are watching our guys pretty closely, but Kevin is fine.”

• Defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, who suffered a broken foot last season, practiced fully on Tuesday before sitting out team drills Wednesday, Jackson said.

• Special guests at practice included Lawrence Garrett, the father of defensive end Myles Garrett, and future Hall of Fame left tackle Joe Thomas, who helped coach the offensive line. Myles Garrett put a sleeve on his right leg during practice but finished the session.

• Cornerback Howard Wilson (fractured kneecap last year) and linebacker Tank Carder (torn anterior cruciate ligament last year) continued to work out on the sideline with an athletic trainer instead of practicing.

• Offensive lineman Donald Stephenson wasn’t on the field during practice.

Nate Ulrich can be reached at nulrich@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Browns blog at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NateUlrichABJ and on Facebook www.facebook.com/abj.sports.