In Part 2 of our training camp preview on the Cleveland Browns’ offensive line, we look at the left tackle candidates looking to start after Joe Thomas retired this offseason.
5. Shon Coleman - Current Left Tackle
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 310 lbs | Age: 26
Experience: 3 years | College: Auburn
After seeing very little action as a rookie, Shon Coleman became the team’s starting right tackle in 2017 and didn’t miss a snap all year. With the retirement of Joe Thomas, the team tried to pursue Nate Solder as a free agent this offseason, but he preferred to sign with the New York Giants. In a somewhat unconventional move, with a vacant left tackle spot, the team decided to pay big money to a starting right tackle (Chris Hubbard), pushing Coleman out of his starting job from a year ago.
All is not lost for Coleman, as he is being given the first crack at the starting left tackle job, and Thomas has tried to pass along some of his wisdom to him. But remember, Cody Kessler was the team’s starting quarterback at this time last year too, and look what happened. Left tackle is a wide open competition heading into camp, and offensive line coach Bob Wylie talked about the challenges Coleman faces switching from the right side to the left side:
“When you have your right hand on the ground, you’re using this side of your body most of the time. Now all of a sudden, they’re taking you and moving you over to the left side. Now, you have to switch your feet and everything has to move over. That just doesn’t happen overnight. It’s going to take a while.”
That doesn’t mean Wylie doesn’t believe in Coleman, as he praised his athleticism. Coleman had, in my estimation, a pretty solid first year as a starting right tackle, so it does kind of feel like he got shafted a bit (because I honestly do not believe he will end up as the opening day left tackle). He should at least make the roster still.
Final Roster Odds: 95%
6. Austin Corbett - Rookie Left Tackle
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 306 lbs | Age: 22
Experience: Rookie | College: Nevada
The Browns selected Austin Corbett with the No. 33 overall pick of the draft, and I always like to say that if a team stays put with the first pick of Day 2 of the draft, then they must really like the player they select (considering the trade offers they must be receiving).
Corbett played left tackle for all four years in college, but many scouting reports assumed he would transition to guard in the NFL. Cleveland is well set at both guard positions, though, so unless Joel Bitonio switches over to left tackle, it seems likely that the coaching staff’s “best-case scenario” is that the rookie looks the part of a capable left tackle in training camp.
Having a tough time coming by Nevada film but in limited viewings I love how aware Austin Corbett is in the run game. Here he realizes the cross stunt and pick up the linebacker perfectly. Always finishing with nice drive. pic.twitter.com/IV45GG9R0t— Jake Burns (@jake_burns18) May 8, 2018
Waiting for Next Year looked at the strengths and weaknesses of Corbett’s college tape. Among his strengths were strong hands, being a nasty finisher, awareness, and patient/fluid movement skills. His weaknesses include his hand positioning at times, pass protection technique, and overextending. I’m picking him to win the job in camp.
Final Roster Odds: 100%
7. Greg Robinson - Veteran Left Tackle
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 330 lbs | Age: 25
Experience: 5 years | College: Auburn
After minicamp concluded, the Browns went out and signed veteran left tackle Greg Robinson, who was the No. 2 overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. Robinson has been the definition of a bust since entering the league, and if this infographic from Pro Football Focus doesn’t tell the story, then I don’t know what will:
The one edge that Robinson has in his favor is that he has started 48 games between the Rams and Lions. It seems unlikely that Robinson will miraculously be able to flip the switch in Cleveland, but on the same note, you have to think the team had some concern about the position to go out and sign him after minicamp. My projection for Robinson is that he ultimately will not make the roster, with preference given to younger talent.
Final Roster Odds: 20%
8. Spencer Drango - Forgotten Left Tackle
Height: 6-6 | Weight: 315 lbs | Age: 25
Experience: 3 years | College: Baylor
Spencer Drango started 10 games last year after Joe Thomas went down. One would think that might make Drango the favorite to start at left tackle, but all it really did was build a resume for why he is not the man for the starting job. He showed that he can fill in and have some moments of stability, but this is something you never want to see:
Joe Thomas gave up 30 sacks in his 11-year career (6,680 pass-block snaps).— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) March 14, 2018
His replacement, Spencer Drango, allowed 11 sacks in 11 games#Browns
This training camp, Drango figures to be in the mix as a backup guard again — the first player up if something were to happen to Joel Bitonio or Kevin Zeitler.
Final Roster Odds: 75%
Our poll question today asks who you think the Browns’ starting left tackle will be in 2018.
Who will start at left tackle for the Browns in Week 1?
This poll is closed