In Part 3 of our offensive line preview for training camp, we look at the remaining five offensive linemen on the back end of the roster: Evan Brown, Colby Gossett, Malcolm Pridgeon, Drake Dorbeck, and Alex Taylor.
10. Evan Brown - Backup Center
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 302 lbs | Age: 23
Experience: 2 years | College: Southern Methodist
Prior to drafting Nick Harris, Cleveland signed Evan Brown in free agency to be a backup center. Now, he’s more likely to just be an extra center for training camp, but let’s get to know a little more about him nonetheless.
Brown was an undrafted free agent in 2018 who signed with the New York Giants, and actually made the roster as the team’s backup all season (although he never played a snap on offense). He spent most of 2019 on the Giants’ practice squad, but the Miami Dolphins signed him toward the end of the season. He got to play some snaps at guard for a week amidst a ton of random shuffling on the line. Back in 2018, Brown was Dane Brugler’s 8th-ranked center in the draft:
After spending the 2015 season at right guard, he moved to center as a junior where he started all 25 games the last two years. Brown has “scary strength” according to his college coaches, displaying the hand/wrist power to press defenders from his frame and maintain spacing. He blocks pissed off with the competitive temperament and smarts that help him overwhelm his target. Overall, Brown needs to improve his footwork to better recover, but he shows the strength, leadership and starting experience that will earn him consideration in the draft’s later rounds.
Final Roster Odds: 5%
11. Colby Gossett - Backup OG
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 330 lbs | Age: 25
Experience: 1 year | College: Appalachian State
Colby Gossett was a 6th round pick by the Minnesota Vikings in 2018 (hey, a slight Kevin Stefanski connection!). He didn’t make the Vikings’ roster, and the Arizona Cardinals ended up signing him. Gossett made four starts with the Cardinals at left guard. He only graded out to a 46.0 during that time, according to Pro Football Focus, which is well below average.
After not making the Cardinals’ final roster in 2019, the Browns signed him to their practice squad for most of the season, and he was actually promoted to the 53-man roster heading into Week 17. Gossett was Dane Brugler’s 11th-ranked guard in 2018:
A four-year starter at Appalachian State, Gossett spent most of his career anchoring the right guard position, but also provided the coaching staff a versatile and durable option at tackle and center if needed – allowed only one combined sack the last two seasons. Gossett is an assignment sound player and uses his aggressive hands to tie up defenders. However, he is overly reliant on his upper body due to choppy steps and lower body stiffness that can be exposed by explosive interior defenders. Overall, Gossett doesn’t have a dominant trait and his skill-set leaves little room for error, but he finds ways to get the job done on tape and should provide immediate offensive line depth in the NFL.
Gossett is your typical back-end-of-the-roster player heading into training camp; with a whole season on the Browns’ practice squad, we’ll see if his craft has improved.
Final Roster Odds: 5%
12. Malcolm Pridgeon - Backup OG
Height: 6-6 | Weight: 331 lbs | Age: 25
Experience: 1 year | College: Ohio State
Many Cleveland fans will know Malcolm Pridgeon, who started on the Ohio State Buckeyes offensive line from 2017-2018. He signed with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2019, but didn’t make the team’s final roster. Like Gossett, Pridgeon spent almost all of last season on the Browns’ practice squad. Dane Brugler had him ranked all the way down at No. 57 among guards in the 2019 NFL Draft class.
Pridgeon, like Gossett, has the big size you’d expect from a guard. I’m not sure he has the athleticism the team will be looking for in this scheme. Because the team doesn’t even know who their starting right guard will be, the backup spots are also wide open, so Pridgeon has a good chance to make an impression. It’ll be interesting to see if Gossett or Pridgeon get any reps with the first-team offense in camp.
Final Roster Odds: 5%
13. Alex Taylor - Undrafted Rookie OT
Height: 6-8 | Weight: 301 lbs | Age: 23
Experience: Rookie | College: South Carolina State
Getting even bigger in size, at least in terms of height, is undrafted free agent rookie Alex Taylor with his 6-8 frame. Taylor was Dane Brugler’s 18th-ranked offensive tackle in this year’s class, and he projected him to be a sixth-round pick:
A two-year starter at South Carolina State, Taylor lined up at right tackle in offensive coordinator Bennett Swygert’s offense. A basketball-first athlete most of his life, he didn’t start playing football until his junior year in high school and bounced between the two sports in college. With his body flexibility and foot agility, Taylor looks like a basketball player in pads, not showing any awkwardness in his movements. His size is a double-edged sword, boasting remarkable length, but his taller stature and high center of gravity creates leverage issues and struggles to play low. Overall, Taylor lacks sophistication to his game and can be tossed if his posture isn’t precise, but his light feet and length are intriguing beginner traits, projecting as a high-upside zone tackle who will need time.
Hearing that Taylor is a high-upside zone tackle is already a check mark in the right box, and he would also fit the bill of being a younger offensive tackle prospect should the team move on from Hubbard or Lamm as their backups.
Final Roster Odds: 20%
14. Drake Dorbeck - Undrafted Rookie OT
Height: 6-7 | Weight: 317 lbs | Age: 23
Experience: Rookie | College: Southern Mississippi
Drake Dorbeck is the second of two undrafted free agent offensive tackles who the Browns signed following this year’s draft. From the couple of scouting reports I digested on Dorbeck, he has good size, bends his knees well, and gets a good first block with his strength, but the big downside is his footwork. Dorbeck was the 34th-ranked offensive tackle in this year’s draft by Dane Brugler, and is viewed as a developmental prospect. We’ll see if he can land a spot on the practice squad.
Final Roster Odds: <5%
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