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Cleveland Browns Training Camp 2021: OL Preview (Part 3)

Round out the final six players in camp for the Browns’ offensive line.

Cleveland Browns Off-Season Workout Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

In Part 3 of our offensive line preview, we look at the third-string line (plus one): T Alex Taylor, G Drew Forbes, C Javon Patterson, G Colby Gossett, T Greg Senat, and G Cordel Iwuagwu.

Cleveland Browns Training Camp Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

11. Alex Taylor - Backup OT

Height: 6-8 | Weight: 301 lbs | Age: 24
Experience: 1 year | College: South Carolina State

Alex Taylor was an undrafted free agent who signed with the Browns last offseason. His large frame stands out at 6-8, and he was signed to the team’s practice squad in mid-October. He was elevated from the practice squad for the team’s final three games (Week 17 and the playoffs) as a backup tackle.

Last year, Taylor was Dane Brugler’s 18th-ranked offensive tackle in the draft, offering this assessment:

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.

Taylor figures to be on the third team offense, with Chris Hubbard and rookie James Hudson III ahead of him on the depth chart. If Hubbard ends up playing backup guard, though, Taylor could see a bump up as the backup right tackle.

Final Roster Odds: 40%

Cleveland Browns Off-Season Workout Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

12. Drew Forbes - Backup OG

Height: 6-5 | Weight: 308 lbs | Age: 24
Experience: 2 years | College: Southeast Missouri State

It’s funny how much we hype players sometimes (more so when the team was having its losing ways). Drew Forbes was a 6th round pick in 2019, and fans were wondering if he could be the team’s next starting right guard before he was placed on IR with a knee injury in September 2019. Then, he opted out of the 2020 season due to the pandemic. Although he’s had one training camp with the team, it feels like we’re starting from square one with Forbes.

What should we expect from him? Blake Hance and Michael Dunn are ahead of him as the second-team guards on my depth chart, but Forbes could easily be in that mix too. Prior to him opting out last year, we had thought that he might even start at right guard over Wyatt Teller. For a longer backstory, you may recall that Forbes was “Prospect X” in 2019’s Sports Illustrated feature. The word “nasty” was used to describe Teller’s physical level of play in that feature. Cleveland needs to determine who the best backup guard is in camp — Teller missed several games last year, but Forbes’ layoff makes him more of a “Prospect ?” this training camp.

Final Roster Odds: 30%

Cleveland Browns Off-Season Workout Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

13. Javon Patterson - Backup C

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 305 lbs | Age: 24
Experience: 2 years | College: Mississippi

Javon Patterson was a seventh-round pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2019 NFL Draft. He landed on injured reserve for his entire rookie season after tearing his ACL. In 2020, he had a brief stint on the New York Giants’ practice squad before signing to the Browns’ practice squad in November.

When Nick Harris filled in for Wyatt Teller at right guard in Week 16 last year, Patterson was activated to the main roster to be the backup center that week. In college, Patterson mostly played left guard, but also saw action at center and right guard. Patterson is expected to be the Browns’ third-string center heading into this year’s camp.

Final Roster Odds: <1%

NFL: JUN 11 Arizona Cardinals Minicamp Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

14. Colby Gossett - Backup OG

Height: 6-5 | Weight: 330 lbs | Age: 26
Experience: 2 years | College: Appalachian State

Colby Gossett was a 6th round pick by the Minnesota Vikings in 2018. He didn’t make the Vikings’ roster, and the Arizona Cardinals signed him. Gossett made four starts with the Cardinals at left guard, with PFF grading him out to a 46.0.

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 promoted to the 53-man roster heading into Week 17. Last year, Gossett opted out like Forbes did, which left Cleveland thin at backup guard. 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 figures to be a third-string guard this training camp.

Final Roster Odds: <5%

Cleveland Browns Off-Season Workout Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

15. Greg Senat - Backup OT

Height: 6-6 | Weight: 305 lbs | Age: 26
Experience: 4 years | College: Wagner

Greg Senat was originally a 6th round pick by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2018 NFL Draft, although most of his rookie year was spent on injured reserve with a foot injury. In 2019, the Kansas City Chiefs signed him...where he also spent most of the season on injured reserve. Staying healthy has clearly been an issue for Senat, although Matt Miller of Bleacher Report once wrote that Senat was a “draft and stash” type of player:

Greg Senat is a late-round “draft and stash” kind of player teams will look to develop into a starter. With so few prospects coming out of college ready to play in the pros immediately, Senat offers intriguing upside as an athlete at tackle.

Cleveland signed Senat to their practice squad last September, but the Dallas Cowboys plucked him off the practice squad in October. When they declined to tender him in March 2021, the Browns came in and re-signed him. Senat played in 10 games last year with Dallas, mostly on special teams. This seems like a competition of Senat vs. Taylor and which player will have the better upside to be a practice squad tackle.

Final Roster Odds: <5%

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

16. Cordel Iwuagwu - Backup OG

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 313 lbs | Age: 24
Experience: 1 year | College: TCU

Heading into Week 17 last year, the Browns signed OG Cordel Iwuagwu to their practice squad. Prior to that, he was with the Houston Texans in training camp as an undrafted free agent. Iwuagwu had been signed to provide depth at right guard with Wyatt Teller, Chris Hubbard, and Nick Harris all coming down with injuries around the same time. Cleveland isn’t depleted at guard heading into this year’s camp, so if Cleveland needs to sign a player at another position (like a fourth quarterback), it wouldn’t surprise me to see an extra lineman — such as Iwuagwu — be first on the chopping block.

Here is what Lance Zierlein of said about Iwuagwu prior to last year’s draft:

Guard-only prospect lacking desired NFL size and consistency. Iwuagwu’s run blocking isn’t defined by plus power or athleticism. He doesn’t play with consistent body control or footwork and there aren’t enough reps where he is in command and in control. His arm length and punch stiffness are both good, but he lacks instincts to recognize and respond to blitzing/twisting fronts in a timely manner. He might get a shot in camp, but he lacks the functional strength and footwork to withstand the size and force of NFL interior defenders.

Final Roster Odds: <1%


Will Drew Forbes make the roster this year?

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