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Cleveland Browns Training Camp 2013: OL Preview (Locked-In Starters)

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

With the defensive line preview finished, we continue our preview in the trenches by switching over to the offensive line. Today's training camp preview for the Cleveland Browns looks at the players who are locked in as starters on the line -- you know who they are.


8276_mediumJoe Thomas (#73)

6-6 | Weight: 312
Age: 28 | Experience: 7 years
College: Wisconsin

Note: A living legend among mortals.

You know you're in great shape at left tackle when the team doesn't even give a damn who your backup left tackle is: you know Mr. Reliable and All-Around-Beast Joe Thomas will play every snap of every season.

Thomas has now made six consecutive Pro Bowls. Last year, he was dropped to being named a second-team All-Pro. You can see what his peers thought of that -- In the NFL Network's Top 100 Players list this year, Thomas was ranked as the best left tackle in the game.

The Browns don't have to worry about extending Thomas for awhile, as he will not be a free agent until 2019. Until then, enjoy the pancakes.

Job Security: A+
Final Roster Odds: 100%


8276_mediumAlex Mack (#55)

6-4 | Weight: 311
Age: 27 | Experience: 5 years
College: California

Note: Very reliable center...will be looking for a contract extension this year.

Entering the final year of his contract, one of Joe Banner's big priorities in 2013 will be getting Alex Mack locked up with a contract extension. With all of the cap space that Cleveland has and no viable replacement waiting in the wings, there's really no reason to believe that Mack won't be a Brown for years to come.

In terms of training camp, there is nothing for Mack to prove. Like Thomas, he has started every game since being drafted. I guess you could say that Mack will be getting more exposure in practice to the 3-4 defense, something he has reportedly not done as well against in the past. If he can use that experience to get better against a Pittsburgh or Baltimore defense, it'll be a nice extra bonus to the defensive switch.

Job Security: A+
Final Roster Odds: 100%


8276_mediumMitchell Schwartz (#72)

6-5 | Weight: 320
Age: 24 | Experience: 2 years
College: California

Note: Solid rookie season... college teammates with Mack...mentored by Joe Thomas.

I forgot that Mitchell Schwartz and Alex Mack were teammates at California. In last year's training camp preview, I did an injustice toward Schwartz by saying, "very dependable, but not spectacular." Not only was Schwartz dependable, but he was pretty spectacular, at least compared to my expectations.

Early in the season, I thought some members of the media and fans were being really unfair about the performances Schwartz was having. Kiley & Booms on 92.3 The Fan come to mind when they were referring to him as being on roller skates and a revolving door for pass rushers to get to the quarterback.

For what little early struggles Schwartz may have had, he erased them by mid-season and looked like a very high quality right tackle. He'll only get better in year two, and he couldn't have a better mentor in Joe Thomas.

Job Security: A+
Final Roster Odds: 100%

You won't find a better left tackle-center-right tackle combination in the NFL than Joe Thomas, Alex Mack, and Mitchell Schwartz. Now then, if only we could do something about the guard position, which we will look at on Saturday.

Today's poll asks about center Alex Mack and his contract.