Justin Gilbert has a taste for kickoff return duties


Browns first-round cornerback Justin Gilbert has speed to burn, and a taste for the end zone.

Gilbert told reporters at Browns OTAs that he was lobbying for return duties in addition to his spot on defense, and the idea of getting his hands on some kicks was appetizing.

“There is nothing like taking one to the house,” Gilbert said, via Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I tell a couple of my teammates, ‘It’s like your Mama’s cooking, it’s finger lickin good.'”

Gilbert averaged 26.3 yards per return and returned six kickoffs for touchdowns at Oklahoma State, setting a Big-12 record. While it’s a bit of a risk for a top-10 pick, Gilbert’s lobbying hard.

“It’s something I love doing,” Gilbert said. “I love to have the ball in my hands whether it’s returning kicks or, if I don’t get to return kicks, getting it by returning interceptions and getting touchdowns.”

The Browns could use whatever shot of energy they can find in special teams, so it’s worth exploring. Gilbert certainly has the kind game-breaking speed required, so it’s understandable why they might listen to him.