BEREA — Defensive backs coach DeWayne Walker convinced himself during the pre-draft process the Browns would be getting a willing tackler if they were to select cornerback Greedy Williams out of Louisiana State University.

Other NFL talent evaluators were skeptical, and Williams fell into the second round as a result. The Browns traded up three spots to pick him 46th overall on April 26.

"On some of his college tape, there were times that he didn't tackle, and I just think maybe some people that evaluated him didn't want to let that go," Walker said Saturday before the 13th practice of training camp. "For me, I guess I looked the other way. I've seen him tackle on tape, so, to me, I just felt like we just got to get him to do it on a consistent basis."

Walker pointed out Williams got off to a good start with his tackling in Thursday's preseason opener. Although Williams blew a coverage assignment on a touchdown, he had two tackles and an interception in the Browns' 30-10 win over Washington at FirstEnergy Stadium.

"He showed everybody that he will tackle," Walker said. "I'm sure that's the main thing everybody wanted to see.

"It's hard in practice because you don't get a lot of live reps, so it's nice to see [him tackle] in a live setting."

Williams is competing with Terrance Mitchell to become the starting cornerback on the outside opposite Pro Bowler Denzel Ward.

"This staff, we want [Williams] to maybe have to earn it versus with Denzel last year, he proved early that he belonged," Walker said. "I think with Greedy, [we're] just kind of bringing him along a little slower. But, at some point, he's a good football player, and he's going to help our team."

In Saturday's first team drill, Ward and Mitchell were on the field together. But Ward has been limited in 11-on-11 action, so Mitchell and Williams were both with the ones the rest of the way.

Walker explained Williams, Mitchell and Ward all play outside corner, and the Browns have no plans to use any of them in the slot. Walker said TJ Carrie, Phillip Gaines and safety Eric Murray are the defense's options in the slot. Carrie has the job locked down as long as he's healthy. Right now, he's dealing with a hamstring injury.

"Those guys that can play inside and outside, those guys are really kind of unique to be able to do both because all outside guys aren’t really comfortable playing inside," Walker said.

Mitchell won't give up his playing time on the outside to Williams without a fight.

On Saturday, Mitchell intercepted a pass thrown by quarterback Baker Mayfield in an 11-on-11, red-zone drill. Mitchell leaped in the end zone and nearly picked off Mayfield a second time, but the cornerback couldn't hang onto the ball.

"A couple of weeks ago, we gave Greedy some one reps. It was a switch," coach Freddie Kitchens said Saturday. "What I like about Mitch is he continued to work. He didn't let it affect him. He just continued to work. And then what happens? You start making plays."

Ready or not?

Dontrell Hilliard has never had a rushing attempt in an NFL regular-season game, but he's confident in his ability to fill the Browns' No. 2 running back role after the team traded Duke Johnson on Thursday to the Houston Texans.

"I feel real comfortable," said Hilliard, who appeared in 11 games with the Browns last season as an undrafted rookie and compiled nine catches for 105 yards. "That’s how I looked at it coming in. Any time my number’s called, I’m going to be the one, the guy, so I had no doubt in my mind that I can fill that role or a more important role."

Nick Chubb is the undisputed starting running back for the Browns. Kareem Hunt is an elite talent who's suspended for the first eight regular-season games. So unless the Browns acquire a veteran back — and they could — Hilliard is positioned to serve as Chubb's main backup for the first half of the 2019 season.

Kitchens said he likes Hilliard in the No. 2 spot, despite Hilliard fumbling at the goal line and committing a holding penalty that pushed the Browns out of field-goal range at the end of the first half in the preseason opener. Hilliard also had nine carries for 19 yards (2.1 average) and three catches for 34 yards.

"I wouldn't push the panic button on Dontrell yet," Kitchens said after the exhibition game.

Hilliard insisted he doesn't feel more pressure with Johnson out of the picture.

"It’s the same as it was if he was here," Hilliard said. "It’s a competitive game, competitive nature, and that [trade] they made, they opened up an opportunity for me, and I’m going to do my best to take advantage of it."

Heavier workload

Hunt participated in team drills Saturday for the first time since camp opened, working with the second-team offense. He sat out the first eight practices of camp with a groin injury.

"It's good to have him out there," Kitchens said. "He's been working hard on getting back to the point he's at right now."

Do the Browns plan to play Hunt in the second preseason game Saturday at the Indianapolis Colts?

"We don't know yet," Kitchens replied. "We're seeing how he progresses. What we don't want to do is lengthen the length of time that he's been out. So we'll play it day by day."

What to expect

Kitchens said the Browns and Colts will wear pads for their joint practices Wednesday and Thursday in Westfield, Indiana. However, the two teams don't plan to tackle to the ground.

"I don't think so," Kitchens said. "We'll save the live stuff for [Saturday's] game."

More needed

Rookie linebacker Mack Wilson has remained with the second-team defense after recording two interceptions, including a pick-six, during Thursday's preseason opener.

Why not give the fifth-round draft pick a shot with the starters?

"Just because he made two splash plays, you didn't see the busted assignments," Kitchens replied. "I'm not saying he busted assignments [in the game], but he's busted assignments out here on the practice field, and, for us, the practice field is just an extension of the game. I just need consistency every day, and that's what I'm looking for."

Extra points

• The 13th practice of camp turned out to be the best kicking day of camp. Incumbent Greg Joseph went 5-for-5 in a field-goal period, making kicks from 33, 40, 43, 47 and 53 yards. Rookie fifth-round pick Austin Seibert went 4-of-5, missing from 47 yards. Late in practice, Joseph made a 44-yard field goal and Seibert made a 52-yard field goal to end two-minute drills.

• The Browns signed fullback Joe Kerridge, who appeared in 12 games with the Green Bay Packers from 2016-17.

• Free safety Damarious Randall (groin) and tight end Demetrius Harris (concussion) returned to practice. Randall didn't participate in team drills, but Harris did. Defensive end Olivier Vernon (hamstring) returned to team drills after missing some time. Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. didn't participate in team drills.

•The following players did not practice due to injury: receivers Antonio Callaway (ankle) and Damion Ratley (hamstring), tight end Seth DeValve (concussion), guard/center Kyle Kalis (concussion), defensive ends Jarrell Owens (groin) and Anthony Zettel (ankle), defensive tackle Brian Price (concussion) and cornerbacks Tavierre Thomas (hamstring) and Carrie (hamstring). Rookie safety Sheldrick Redwine didn't practice, either, but the team didn't disclose a reason.

• With Sheldon Richardson sitting out team drills, backup defensive tackle Devaroe Lawrence was mixed into the first-team defense and had a virtual tackle for loss on Chubb. He also had a sack Thursday in the preseason opener. "The week leading up to the game, we couldn't block him," Kitchens said. "So [the sack] was a continuation of practice."

• Defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi pressured Mayfield on Mitchell's interception. Ogunjobi nearly had an interception of his own later, but he failed to catch the Mayfield pass.

• In an 11-on-11, red-zone period, Mayfield connected with receiver Jarvis Landry for a 13-yard touchdown. Later, in a move-the-ball period, Mayfield capped a 60-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass to tight end David Njoku on fourth-and-goal.

• The jump ball to Njoku was Mayfield's last pass of the practice. Backup quarterback Drew Stanton commanded the No. 1 offense during a pair of two-minute drills. Linebacker Joe Schobert intercepted a pass from Stanton over the middle. Later, Seibert's successful 52-yard field goal capped Stanton's second series with the ones.

• Stanton had not previously worked with the first-team offense in this camp. "Just different combinations of different things, always preparing for things and with the receivers more so than anything," Kitchens said. "It's not a big deal. Baker had thrown a bunch of balls earlier in practice, and we just wanted to kind of even it up some."

• Eric Kush worked as the first-team right guard for the fifth consecutive practice. He also started in the spot Thursday in the exhibition opener.

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