CANTON, Ohio- So far, I’ve previewed the Browns defensive line, linebackers and the secondary. It’s time to move to the offensive side of the ball.
Let’s see what the Cleveland Browns offensive line is going to look like for 2017.
Left tackle Joe Thomas- Yes, Thomas is getting up there in years, but he’s still regarding as one of the top 5, if not 3 left tackles in the game. Plus, this year, Thomas will look to give Myles Garrett a challenge in practice every day that will hopefully make Garrett even better.
Left guard Joel Bitonio- The Browns signed Bitonio to a six-year contract worth $51.2M with $23.7M guaranteed. Bitonio is a pro bowl caliber guard. If Bitonio can stay healthy, along with Thmoas, the Browns could have the best left sided offensive line in football. Joel Bitonio is young and ready to get back to playing at a high level.
Center J C Tretter- Cleveland desperately needed talent and depth at the offensive line position. Especially the center position. Tretter signed a three-year $16.75M contract. The Browns are looking for Tretter to solidify the center position.
Right guard Kevin Zeitler- The right side of Cleveland’s offensive line has been one of the worst since their return in 1999. The Browns went out and signed Kevin Zeitler to a five-year $60M contract. A guaranteed #31.5M. I like this move for a few reasons. Zeitler is regarded as one of the best run blocking offensive linemen in the NFL and while it strengthens Cleveland’s line, it weakens a divisional rivals line with the Bengals.
Right tackle Shon Coleman- As of now, Coleman is the starter according to the depth chart. Cam Erving may not be far behind, and, on paper, the only position on the offensive line that seems unstable.
Left tackle Roderick Johnson (Florida State)- Johnson will get a lot of playing time during the preseason since he’s playing backup to Joe Thomas who will not play many series during the preseason.
Left guard Spencer Drango- Another player who could also could see a lot of playing time during the preseason games considering who he’s backing up.
Center- Marcus Martin, Austin Reiter, Gabe Ikard, Anthony Fabiano. Out of all those names, I like Austin Reiter the most.
Right guard- John Greco, Chris Barker. John Greco can play multiple positions, but right guard is his best position.
Right tackle- Again, the battle looks to be between Coleman and Erving.
The Cleveland Browns want to be able to run the ball much more this year. Especially considering the quarterback situation the way it is. If the Browns can create an identity on offense as a good or great running team, that’ll help out anyone who is playing quarterback.
You can say “If they are healthy” for every team in the league, so if the Browns can stay fairly healthy, they have a shot at being one of the best offensive lines in football. Cleveland hasn’t been able to make that claim since probably 2007.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick broulis