Cleveland Browns Training Camp 2014: OL Preview, Part 3 (Tackle Competition)

OL Martin Wallace - Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Part 3 of our offensive line preview for training camp looks at some of the competition for the backup tackle spots on the team.

9. CHRIS FAULK - COMPETING FOR BACKUP OFFENSIVE TACKLE

8276_mediumChris Faulk (#70)

Height:
6-6 | Weight: 317
Age: 24 | Experience: 2 years
College: Louisiana State

Note: Full of potential in 2013... placed on IR last year so he could heal more.

Are we about to see the emergence of Chris Faulk? For those who don't recall his backstory, here it is in a nutshell:

Faulk had high potential at LSU, and was originally projected to be a third-round pick in 2013. However, he tore two ligaments in his right knee and missed his entire final season for LSU. The Browns still took a shot on Faulk as an undrafted free agent last year, but he never participated in training camp. It soon became clear that the team didn't feel Faulk was fully recovered, so they stashed him on injured reserve for the year.

Back in April, Browns head coach Mike Pettine gave the impression that Faulk was good-to-go for 2014. He did toy with the idea of Faulk being a guard -- while that may still happen, I think there is enough competition at that position already, and Cleveland really needs to find a good backup offensive tackle:

"No limitations [on practicing]," said Pettine back in April. "He’s at guard to start, but we evaluate that he’s a guy that we were very much looking forward to this camp, kind of getting him out there and testing that knee and seeing what he can do."

Can Faulk stay healthy enough to live up to the potential he once had?

Final Roster Odds: 40%
Practice Squad Odds: 75% (if he doesn't make the final roster)



10. REID FRAGEL - COMPETING FOR BACKUP OFFENSIVE TACKLE

8276_mediumReid Fragel (#78)

Height:
6-8 | Weight: 308
Age: 23 | Experience: 2 years
College: Ohio State

Note: Fans know him from his Buckeye days...drafted by the Bengals in 2013.

Could the Browns have high hopes for Reid Fragel to seize one of those backup offensive tackle spots?

Fragel was a seventh-round draft pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2013, going off the board 13 picks after Garrett Gilkey. The former Ohio State product must be loved by the Ohio teams; after spending eight weeks on the Bengals' practice squad, the Browns signed Fragel to their active roster for the rest of the season. He didn't see any action on gameday, but the team wanted to exclusive rights to him.

Fragel has a very long frame at 6-8. The only nugget we really have about Fragel this offseason is that when the Browns gave Joe Thomas some time off during one of the early OTA sessions, Fragel filled in at left tackle with the first-team offense.

Final Roster Odds: 30%
Practice Squad Odds: 75% (if he doesn't make the final roster)



11. MARTIN WALLACE - COMPETING FOR BACKUP OFFENSIVE TACKLE

8276_mediumMartin Wallace (#64)

Height:
6-6 | Weight: 305
Age: 24 | Experience: 2 years
College: Temple

Note: Despite not playing, he spent all 17 weeks on Browns' 53-man roster in 2013.

Never discount the underdog. Last offseason in my training camp preview, Martin Wallace was the 17th and final offensive lineman that I previewed. I gave him less than a 1% chance at landing on the final roster. He ended up spending the entire season on the 53-man roster.

Despite being on the roster, Wallace was inactive for 16 straight weeks before finally being active in Week 17. I don't mean this in a demeaning way toward Wallace, but just for the Browns team in general last year: they lacked so much depth at certain positions that they basically used some of those "inactive" spots on gameday as an extension of the practice squad.

Similar to Fragel, when Joe Thomas had some time off during OTA sessions this offseason, Wallace filled in at left tackle with the first-team offense. Other than that, he seems to have a fair chance to compete with Faulk and Fragel for a backup offensive tackle job at the beginning of camp.

Final Roster Odds: 30%
Practice Squad Odds: 50% (if he doesn't make the final roster)



I think one of these three players make the roster, and somebody from the undrafted crew (which will be featured in the next preview) will make it. Also, Paul McQuistan can double up as a backup guard and tackle, which eases some of the depth concerns at tackle (even though McQuistan rated terribly at that position a year ago).

Today's poll asks if you think Faulk can live up to his potential, or if he'll just end up being a guy who could never truly make it back from injury.

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