The Cleveland Browns offensive line had its problems during the preseason.
But help could be on the way.
Pro Football Focus released their final rankings of the league’s 32 offensive lines following the preseason. And while the site acknowledges that preseason grades do always indicate regular season success or failure, there is still some value in the rankings.
In the case of the Browns, the offensive line checked in at No. 21, with second-year lineman Austin Corbett being called out:
Austin Corbett’s development, or lack thereof, has to sting for Browns fans at this point. He was rumored to be the answer at left tackle and right guard at points in his career, but he has since been relegated to backup center. Even there he wasn’t anything special this preseason, earning a 61.5 overall grade on 203 snaps.
Thankfully, Corbett will be relegated to a reserve role this season as long as center J.C. Tretter stays healthy. And if Tretter were to go down, the Browns might take a look at Justin McCray, acquired over the weekend from the Green Bay Packers in a trade, before entrusting the position to Corbett.
So while center is covered, the right guard position remains in flux, with head coach Freddie Kitchens giving the nod - for the moment - to veteran Eric Kush. If Kush struggles, however, the Browns may have a decent option in Wyatt Teller, acquired last week in a trade with the Buffalo Bills.
Despite missing the final preseason game, Teller still earned a spot on PFF’s All-Preseason team:
Teller played 121 snaps for the Bills in their opening three preseason games before being traded to the Cleveland Browns, and the most surprising part of that trade is that he was playing well. He didn’t allow a single sack, hit or hurry from 64 pass-blocking snaps in those three games.
Finally, if you are a Browns fan who falls into the “preseason is meaningless” camp, there is one last bit of good news. The Tennessee Titans, who the Browns will face on Sunday in the opening game of the season, saw its offensive line finish the preseason as the fourth-best offensive line.
If that truly does not mean anything, then the Browns defensive line should be in for a big game on Sunday. (Even if the rankings hold true, the Browns defensive line is going to go off on Sunday.)