Former West Virginia Defensive Lineman Kyle Rose Is Jostling For A Roster Spot With The Cleveland Browns

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Former West Virginia defensive lineman Kyle Rose continues to try and work his way onto the Cleveland Browns roster. His biggest obstacle? The sheer uphill climb for an undrafted rookie agent.

In arguably the most difficult professional sport in which to build a career of any length, Rose is among the multitude of players trying to impress during the NFL's mini camps, being held throughout June. Cleveland just completed its three-day camp, and Rose noted that, much like the jump from the prep level to college, the NFL requires yet another adjustment to the speed and intensity of the sport on a per-play level.

"It's a man's game and it has to be played with an attention to detail," Rose said. "In college you could get away with loafing on the play and maybe make the tackle. At this level, one false step will inhibit you from making the play."

The AFC North franchise just completed a 14-player draft, and coincidentally the Browns delved into the Big 12 early, taking Baylor's Corey Coleman in the first round and Oklahoma State's Emmanuel Ogbah with the initial pick of the second round. They went to the conference well again in the fourth round TCU free safety Derrick Kindred. Cleveland was among the teams with the most selections in the draft, having multiple picks in the third (3), fourth (4) rounds and fifth (4) rounds, meaning through five rounds the Browns had already taken a whopping 13 players. Of those, however, just two were defensive linemen. Rose's main competition, besides the established veterans, is from Florida State's Nile Lawrence-Stample, a 6-1, 313-pound tackle.

Lawrence-Stample started 38 career games and made 71 tackles, 6.5 for loss, with 2.5 sacks. He was at his best as a senior, racking up 36 tackles, 3.5 for loss, with the 2.5 sacks and a pass break up. Rose started 33 of 51 career games played at West Virginia and finished with 155 tackles, five sacks, three passes defended and one fumble recovery. He also recorded a career-high four sacks as a senior in 2015.

"The rookie process entering the NFL is a tough one, especially when one isn't drafted," Rose said. "But during my time with the Cleveland Browns I have learned not only how to play football at a high level but how to do all of the things that come with being a man."

Cleveland also has seven other defensive linemen on its current roster, including three who are considered veterans, having more than three years of experience. But Rose, a native of Centerville, Ohio, would seem to possess the work ethic and physical size to at least make a run at the 53-man roster, if not the practice squad. Rose showed a natural tendency toward leadership while at West Virginia, and also the ability to show remorse and respect for an off-field incident that seemed quite out of character. 

Rose rebounded from that to have a very solid senior season,and will forever be linked with that initial class that aided the transition for the Mountaineers from the Big East to the Big 12. Rose played in every single game following a redshirt season in 2011, when West Virginia won the Big East title and the Orange Bowl in head coach Dana Holgorsen's first season. He then added depth for two years before anchoring a line that played the run very well under the newly-installed 3-3-5 odd stack under coordinator Tony Gibson, where the defensive line position is asked to continually battle double teams, especially on the interior. 

It's the same can-do attitude, and one of unselfishness, that could enable Rose to truly challenge for an NFL position.

"The veteran players who have been around a while have done a great job in helping the rookies get in the swing of how professionals act and play," Rose said. "I am truly blessed to have this opportunity and will do everything I can to help the team achieve our goals, which is to win." 

Check out Cleveland Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown, above, as he gives his thoughts on the NFL Draft and the culture change it will take for the Browns to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2002 - a 13-year drought. That ties with the Oakland Raiders for the second-longest in the NFL behind the Buffalo Bills (16 years). Cleveland has reached the playoffs just once in the last 21 seasons.

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