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Cleveland Browns Training Camp 2013: OL Preview (Part 4)


In Part 4 of our offensive line preview for the Cleveland Browns, we take a look at four of the younger players on the team and whether they have a chance at making the final roster: Garrett Gilkey, Jarrod Shaw, Dominic Alford, and Chris Faulk.


8276_mediumGarrett Gilkey (#65)

6-6 | Weight: 320
Age: 22 | Experience: Rookie
College: Chardon State

Note: Seventh-round pick by the Browns...good size and physicality, but needs work on technique.

Just like Alex Mack, we don't have to worry about Garrett Gilkey's appendix bursting; he already had that happen back in 2011. Gilkey was the Browns' final pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, coming in the seventh round. There isn't a lot of investment in a seventh-round pick, but there could still be a sense that he's a "new regime guy" over someone like Ryan Miller.

We'll find out early in training camp if the Browns project Gilkey as more of a guard or a tackle. He shows impressive physicality and a mean streak playing through the whistle, but he isn't exactly a technician quite yet. He is the definition of a project player, and because of that, Gilkey could end up landing on the practice squad if he gets outclassed by Miller and one of the veterans (Oniel Cousins or Rashad Butler).

Final Roster Odds: 40%
Practice Squad Odds: 75%


8276_mediumJarrod Shaw (#74)

6-3 | Weight: 316
Age: 25 | Experience: 2 years
College: Tennessee

Note: Was on the 53-man roster for half the year in 2012, but as an inactive.

Jarrod Shaw has had some favor with offensive line coach George Warhop over the past two years. Shaw was on the Browns' practice squad in 2011. He returned in 2012 and was on the team's practice squad for the first seven games of the season. He was then promoted to the 53-man roster, although he remained on the inactive list for the final 9 games of the season.

Last year, I gave Shaw heavy odds at making the practice squad, but very little chance at making the final roster to start the season. This year, I think his odds are low in both departments. Although he is practice squad eligible, I think there are a few rookies/undrafted guys who are going to be stashed their instead. At offensive guard, depending on how the Browns classify their backups, Shaw would have to beat out, for example, Shawn Lauvao and Ryan Miller. I just can't see it happening.

Final Roster Odds: 5%
Practice Squad Odds: 25%


8276_mediumDominic Alford (#78)

6-3 | Weight: 320
Age: 25 | Experience: 1 year
College: Minnesota

Note: Spent a few weeks on Panthers practice squad in by Cleveland in February.

Unfortunately for Dominic Alford, I think he is the very definition of camp fodder in 2013. Alford first joined the Browns in 2011 as an undrafted free agent, and spent the year on the practice squad.

Alford did not make the Browns roster in 2012, nor did he make the practice squad. The team signed him to a one-year deal in February, which seemed a little strange, given the fact that the previous regime was gone.

Digging a little deeper, though, Alford actually spent the final four weeks of the 2012 season on the practice squad of the Carolina Panthers. I can't imagine Rob Chudzinski spent a ton of time with Alford, but maybe it, along with the 2011 connection to offensive line coach George Warhop, helped him get a contract. Since Alford signed, the team has added more than a handful of rookies, each of whom seem to have a little more intrigue to them.

Alford is another guy who could work at multiple positions in camp, but I'm projecting him to see action at offensive tackle with the third-stringers.

Final Roster Odds: 1%
Practice Squad Odds: 25%


8276_mediumChris Faulk (#70)

6-6 | Weight: 330
Age: 23 | Experience: Rookie
College: Louisiana State

Note: Suffered serious knee injury last year...if healthy, could have been a 3rd-round pick...went undrafted.

This is the youngster I'll have my eye on in training camp, even more so than seventh-round pick Garrett Gilkey. Chris Faulk was originally projected to be a pretty high draft pick, possibly as high as a third-round pick. In fact, here is all you need to know: mooncamping had Faulk as his No. 17 overall player prior to the draft. That's first-round material!

Why did Faulk go undrafted, then? He tore two ligaments in his right knee and missed all of last season for LSU. He is the type of player who, if healthy, could come into training camp and shoot up the depth chart to be the team's primary backup offensive tackle (the veteran backups in front of him aren't anything special).

That will be the big question, though: are we getting a Faulk who will be playing at full potential? He couldn't participate in the offseason programs with the Browns, and Rob Chudzinski said he wasn't certain if he'd be ready for training camp. Faulk could end up being the type of player the team puts on a reserve list to stash him for a year while he recovers, and then see what he can offer in 2014.

Final Roster Odds: 25%
Practice Squad Odds: 75%

Today's poll is similar in theme to the one from the other day: which of these four players would you like to see make the final roster, if only one of them could make it? We'll finish our offensive line preview on Tuesday with Part 5, so stay tuned!