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Cleveland Browns Training Camp 2015: OL Preview, Part 2

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

In Part 1 of our Cleveland Browns training camp preview for the offensive line, we looked at the three spots on the line where starters are locked in. In Part 2, we are taking a look at a four-way competition for the right guard and right tackle spots.


8276_mediumJohn Greco (#77)

6-4 | Weight: 318
Age: 29 | Experience: 7 years
College: Toledo

Note: Under contract through 2017. ... Has played a lot better than many fans give him credit for. ... Still the favorite at RG.

There are some fans who look at the poor offensive line play after Alex Mack's departure and attribute it to the right side of the line being weak. While the right side of the line is not as steady as the left side, John Greco had a very solid season at right guard in 2014. It's one of the reasons why the selection of rookie offensive lineman Cameron Erving wasn't viewed as a necessity.

With that said, it's a luxury that the Browns will have to make some tough decisions on the depth chart in the trenches this year, and Greco is more than ready for the challenge that awaits him.

If Greco does not win a starting role this season, he'll still play a valuable role to the franchise over the next two years. He is under contract through the 2017 season and will basically be playing for the veteran minimum. Alex Mack could opt out in 2016, and Mitchell Schwartz is also a free agent next year. It's possible that Greco could play the role of a depth guy at every position this year and be ready to jump back into a starting role next year. I actually want to think a bit more optimistically about Greco, though: he looked like a quality starter last year and I think he'll win the job again in camp this year.

Job Security: C+
Final Roster Odds: 100%


8276_mediumMitchell Schwartz (#72)

6-5 | Weight: 320
Age: 25 | Experience: 3 years
College: California

Note: Entering final year of his contract. ... Has had some issues in pass protection in the past.

One comment that stood out to me this offseason came when new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo came out and said that Mitchell Schwartz' pass protection looked much-improved this spring. Could it be a sign that DeFilippo really likes Schwartz at right tackle? Yes.

However, the cynic inside me wonders how a first-year coordinator can make a rather drastic claim like that when he hasn't even gone up against live competition in pads? Has something that different suddenly clicked for Schwartz in year number four? I have my doubts.

That's not to say that Schwartz is a bad player. He isn't some revolving door like Oniel Cousins -- far from it. Schwartz is a quality right tackle in my book, but if we're looking for a position on this line that could most be upgraded, I'd have to go with right tackle. That's where Schwartz' job seems most in jeopardy for me. He is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and if Greco holds down the starting right guard job like I think he will, Schwartz will have to out-shine both Michael Bowie and Cameron Erving in camp.

Job Security: C+
Final Roster Odds: 100%


8276_mediumCameron Erving (#74)

6-5 | Weight: 313
Age: 22 | Experience: Rookie
College: Florida State

Note: First-round pick. ... Played center in college but won't play that position in 2015 in Cleveland.

The Browns are taking a very interesting approach this offseason with first-round pick Cameron Erving. I initially thought that the team might tip their hand during OTAs and minicamp regarding what position Erving would compete for in training camp. Instead, they moved Erving all over the place:

The two positions that Erving has had the most work at so far are right guard and left tackle. He's seen the work at left tackle because Joe Thomas has earned the "veteran" off days at this stage of his career. That is not a position he is just filling for depth purposes. The most action he's seen seems to be at right guard, but it seems that he'll begin camp as the backup there. Considering the work he's seen on the entire line, it wouldn't surprise me if before long, Erving starts seeing some more reps at right tackle.

When the Browns drafted Erving, I was pretty confident that he would hold a starting role in Week 1. Now, I am backing off of that opinion a bit, and it has nothing to do with me having a lack of faith in the rookie lineman. I don't see Greco having a bad enough camp to where Erving leaps over him on the depth chart, and I'm not certain how well Erving can play the right tackle position. The reps that Erving gets in camp will no doubt be scrutinized every day.

Final Roster Odds: 100%


8276_mediumMichael Bowie (#61)

6-5 | Weight: 320
Age: 23 | Experience: 3 years
College: Northeastern State

Note: A roster stash in 2014 after shoulder injury. ... Started in 2013 with the Seahawks. ... Could surprise people.

One of the biggest surprises of camp could turn out to be Michael Bowie. Bowie was the Seattle Seahawks' 7th-round draft pick in 2013. He played in 9 games as a rookie, starting in 8 of them, at right tackle. Bowie was a candidate to start in 2014, as Pro Football Focus graded him as the "stud" of the Seahawks' offensive line as a rookie.

However, Bowie suffered a shoulder injury prior to the season starting and Seattle waived/injured him, hoping to let him slide to their injured reserve and take advantage of preseason roster rules. Instead, the Browns claimed him and stashed him on their injured reserve all of last season.

This past January, DBN's Tim Miller did an awesome scouting report, complete with visuals, on Bowie's rookie season and why he could be an asset for Cleveland at right tackle. In a recent interview with, Bowie stressed that he's ready to get back on the field to show why he's a starting-caliber player. Because the Browns claimed Bowie off waivers last year, he's actually under contract through 2016. If Cleveland decides that he offers the same upside as Schwartz, then it might be better to start the guy who will be under contract for a longer period of time.

Final Roster Odds: 75%

Today's poll asks which combination you think will be the Browns' Week 1 starters at right guard and right tackle.