Cleveland Browns Positional Preview: Offensive Line

The Men of the Trenches

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After a very eventful offseason, the offensive line has finally been revamped! Following an absolutely abysmal 2019 season, it was obvious that there was significant improvement needed in the trenches. Baker Mayfield was sacked the seventh most times of all quarterbacks, let’s take a look at the guys who will be protecting him.

Tackles

The Browns biggest splash during the offseason was the acquisition of former Tennessee Titans tackle, Jack Conklin. Conklin started and played in 62 of a possible 69 career games, he missed seven games in 2018 due to injury, for the Titans. He was selected to the First Team All-Pro his rookie season. He’s allowed 10.5 sacks so far in his career and has been penalized 19 times. He’s a very good young tackle who will hopefully anchor the Browns’ line for years to come.

Cleveland drafted who some considered the best tackle in the draft after he fell into their lap at ten. Jedrick Wills was an absolute monster at Alabama and was responsible for protecting Tua’s blindside, albeit it would be the QB’s strong side in most cases. Wills will make an immediate impact and will most likely be protecting Baker’s blindside.

Guards

Joel Bitonio, the Browns second round pick in 2014, has established himself as one of the best interior linemen in the league quite early into his career. Bitonio is a two-time Pro Bowler and has been named to the Second Team All-Pro twice. He’s been the face of the line since Joe Thomas retired and will be a valuable veteran presence.

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Joel Bitonio
Source: Scott PIker

We’ll (maybe) see former Buffalo Bill, Wyatt Teller, lining up opposite Bitonio. Teller isn’t anything special and is the clear weak spot along the line. He has yet to start a full season but this year might be his year. Teller is the presumed starter but we could very well see rookie Nick Harris takeover that spot.

Center

The starting center will be JC Tretter. Tretter does have the ability to play guard but has been excellent where he’s at and there’s no real reason to change anything. There’s really nothing more to say.

Finally we have one of the biggest steals of the draft, Nick Harris. Harris could have easily been a second rounder but the Browns managed to pick him up in the fifth. A center out of the University of Washington, Harris is extremely agile and versatile and could also see some time playing guard. Harris is a two time First team All-PAC 12 player and deservedly so. He’s probably the best pure center on the roster but will have to wait for his time to start.

Jets IOL prospect: Nick Harris
FILE – In this Sept. 28, 2019, file photo, Washington’s Nick Harris lines up during an NCAA college football game against Southern Cal, in Seattle. Harris was selected to The Associated Press All-Pac 12 Conference team, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Next week will be the tight ends entry! Hopefully there will be some news about David Njoku by then! For more Browns content follow @FPC_Browns and @NSwansonMedia on Twitter. We have a podcast now! Go check out FPC Browns on Spotify and Stitcher!

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