CLEVELAND, Ohio – Anything can happen in the NFL draft, but it looks fairly certain that Browns general manager Andrew Berry will pick a left tackle at No. 10 on April 23.
When this happens, the Browns (on paper) will have undergone a quick and beneficial offensive line-up that was desperately needed. Berry has dropped stacks of money on free agent Jack Conklin (three, $ 42 million) and will pair him with Pro Bowl left guard Joel Bitonio and JC Tretter center.
After the new tackle arrives, he provides a solid four jumpers for Nick Chubb to block and allow cleaner pockets for quarterback Baker Mayfield. But …
And the good guard?
The Browns’ hole between Tretter and Conklin is arguably as important as the problems that Berry jumped at the two tackles.
Currently, the Browns roster has two right guards from last season at Wyatt Teller and Drew Forbes. Teller started nine games last season and scored 48 Pro Football Focus in 2019, ranking him 47th among 50 qualifying guards. Former general manager John Dorsey selected Forbes in the sixth round a year ago, but the rookie fought against an injury and only appeared in two games.
The Browns’ week 1 starter could be on the list. He may be in the project. So let’s see how the Browns can improve their right guard situation without recruiting new talent.
Option 1) Improve what they have
Preparing internal talents to become beginners is theoretically perfect, but difficult to achieve. It also doesn’t help that the Browns redo their coaching staff every few years. However, with the current staff in place, head coach Kevin Stefanksi and long-time offensive line coach Bill Callahan can make the most of line players.
Stefanski operates an extensive area blocking system that allows line players to play a simple game. Line blockers are asked to do a thing or two over and over again. It’s a simple concept to learn but takes time to master.
Callahan’s resume speaks volumes about his offensive online knowledge. He picked up his first OL coach concert in 1987 in northern Arizona before joining the Eagles in 1995. He will have his hands full trying to make Forbes or Teller a valuable starter.
Don’t forget Chris Hubbard, whose contract the Browns restructured a few weeks ago. Hubbard played right tackle last year, but he was on guard in Pittsburgh and could be a solution.
Option 2) Prepare a tackle, convert it into a guard
Selecting a tackle at No. 10 includes built-in break protection. Line workers, unlike quarterbacks, can usually play multiple positions on the offensive line.
Say the Iowa Browns project is attacking Tristan Wirfs and plug it in to protect the blind side of Mayfield. If that doesn’t go well, Stefanski could return Conklin (who played left tackle in college) with Wirfs and try it out.
It seems unlikely based on his combination numbers and collegiate gang, but if Wirfs can’t find the right tackle either, then play him on guard. If this were to happen, Wirfs would be considered a bust, but if it still occurs in the right guard, it is not catastrophic. (Again, we all remember Austin Corbett.)
Or, the Browns drafted Andrew Thomas of Georgia at No. 10. Then at No. 41, take teammate Isaiah Wilson (who played the right tackle) and play him in the right guard.
The fact is, Berry is creative and writes a tackle in the final rounds with the intention of playing it on guard, which is intriguing.
Option 3) Land a top interior line perspective
Guards generally do not steal from the board in the first round. Berry should have options in rounds 3-5 to secure an inside frontline hope if he wishes.
Last week, Matt Goul of Cleveland.com identified the Day 2 guards that Berry could land. Tyler Biadasz of Wisconsin, Jack Driscoll of Auburn, goalkeeper Buckeye Jonah Jackson, National Championship Tiger Damien Lewis and Netane Muti of Fresno State are the top five draft guards.
Berry spending two of his top four picks on offensive linemen would bring home a point he made on Friday at his press conference call.
“If we cannot protect the quarterback and we cannot create holes in the racing game, then it will be a very difficult challenge for our skillful players to produce and play at a high level,” a said Berry. “It really starts there. I know these guys end up being unsung heroes, but that’s something that has been our goal and will continue to be in every successive offseason. “
Either way, the Browns have options.
On Andrew Berry’s press conference
Berry has a vision of how he wants to build the Browns, even if he doesn’t tell you – After hearing Berry for the first time since the combine, Dan Labbe shares his final thoughts on the youngest general manager of the league.
Browns GM calls Jadeveon Clowney “a good player” and the team “is still actively looking for – As she alone can, Mary Kay Cabot breaks down what Berry had to say on Friday.
“Tackles are tackles” – doodles on Cleveland Browns and Andrew Berry’s press conference – Plain Dealer columnist Terry Pluto gives his views on bail Berry.
2020 NFL Draft content
Georgia LT Andrew Thomas contacted Browns GM Berry on video call – Cabot picked up an interview with Thomas and asked him about his conversations with the Browns.
Five rushers who could adapt to the Cleveland Browns on Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft – Goul highlights some pass rushers who could fall on Berry during the draft.
NFL Draft 2020: What tight goals should the Browns aim for in the next rounds? Film review – Ellis L. Williams breaks down the film on the tightest ends of the project and those to target.
More Browns News
Former Browns Joe Thomas, Children’s Hunger Alliance partner Andrew Hawkins – Labbe shares news on the latest way former Browns players are giving back to the community.
Browns evoke memories of Jim Brown, Clay Matthews, Bobby Mitchell in a hype video for new uniforms to be released next week – Cabot is all over the latest news on the Browns jersey and shares his thoughts on the hype video here.
What about Cleveland Browns and the leash of Baker Mayfield, Isaiah Simmons and Tom Petty: Hey, Terry – Pluto talks about what he hears around the Browns.
Orange and Brown Talk podcast
Friday and we filled in the blanks on the Browns on the Orange and Brown Talk podcast. Mary Kay Cabot, Dan Labbe and Scott Patsko filled in the blanks for these phrases and more. We’re also evaluating Andrew Berry’s first off-season and telling the team to look ahead of the Browns in the Top 10.
On Thursday, Ellis L. Williams, Mary Kay Cabot and Dan Labbe discuss Cabot’s conversation with Nick Saban regarding Alabama tackle Jedrick Wills. Are we worried about Wills as a left tackle, because he only played the right tackle in middle and high school? Then, the trio gives their opinion on the new jerseys which appear in the NFL.