Browns Depth Chart Review: The OTs

The Cleveland Browns have built an amazing offensive line, including five 1st or 2nd round picks. We take a look at the team's offensive tackle depth chart as we continue our series. Who wins the RT job? Who backs up Joe Thomas?

The NFL really never stops. Between Free Agency, the NFL Draft and all the Organized Team Activities before Training Camp, the cycle keeps spinning. The Cleveland Browns made some moves in Free Agency, added 12 draft picks in the NFL Draft and have had their rookie mini-camp already. That gives us a perfect time to take a look at the team's Depth Chart, position by position, and evaluate where each player stands.

A lot of unknown still stands with the Browns roster. At this time last year we weren't sure about Taylor Gabriel, Isaiah Crowell or K'Waun Williams. Each, in their own way, made an impact on the 2014 Season and are now considered a part of the team's future. The Browns have increased the depth of talent on the roster but value competition over everything else. Can an Undrafted Free Agent make the team again this year? Will a veteran be a surprise cut?

Lots of moving parts as we prepare for Training Camp.

We started out our Browns Depth Chart Series by looking at The Quarterbacks, then we turned our attention to The Running Backs, the focal point of the Browns offense. We went on to hit on the wide receiver group.

Today we hit on one of the strengths of the Browns: Their offensive linemen. Because of the unique nature of the unit we are splitting it up between tackles and interior linemen. The Browns currently have 5 players on their line that were either 1st or 2nd Round picks by the team. John Greco was a 3rd rounder by the St. Louis Rams.

We will use Pro Football Focus grades in the stats category.

How will the tackle depth chart figure itself out? We take a look.

Joe Thomas

Age

30

Height/Weight

6' 3", 312 pounds

College

Wisconsin

Experience

9 years

2014 Stats

PFF Grade: #3 OT Overall = 33.5, Pass Blocking = 20.8, Run Blocking = 13.9

Estimated Current Depth Chart Position

LT1 - Thomas is the Browns starting left tackle for another few years as long as healthy.

Strengths

Pretty much everything. He got a bit leaner to be able to play in the ZBS and did so with extreme success.

Areas of Concerns

Age and quickness. Thomas is slowly aging. Father Time is undefeated. His play has not slipped dramatically. Instead as he slows even a bit his experience and technique improve even more.

Projected 2015 Depth Chart Position

LT1 - Only injury would change this.

Role Expectations

Thomas is a leader in his own way. He isn't overly vocal but will be when needed. He sets the tone with his effort.

Off-season will be a success if...

Stays healthy, period.

Related Links

Thomas Anchors Browns Strength

Paradox From Thomas' Contract Extension

Cameron Erving

Age

22

Height/Weight

6' 5", 313 pounds

College

FSU

Experience

Rookie

2014 Stats

No PFF College Grade

Estimated Current Depth Chart Position

LT2 - ESPN's Depth Chart has Erving as the Browns #2 LT. Not sure even Erving would feel confident in his ability as a LT in his rookie season but he does have the size and feet for the position possibly in the future.

Strengths

Size, feet and work ethic. Erving started at LT for the Seminoles for a couple years but moved inside as center because the team needed him. He excelled there and showed great team orientation.

Areas of Concerns

On the outside, quickness and experience limitations would likely be a big concern if Erving had to replace Thomas at left tackle.

Projected 2015 Depth Chart Position

T3 - Won't give anything away about where we think Erving plays this season here, but think he backs up both tackle spots. Don't think the Browns will see him as the primary replacement for Thomas if there is an injury.

Role Expectations

Mouth shut, eyes open rookie. The Browns have veterans on the line that Erving can learn a ton from. With his work ethic and base talent that should be enough to combine for a quick learning process.

Off-season will be a success if...

Shows he can handle pass rush coming from the outside and multiple positions on the line.

Related Links

Everything You Need to Know about Browns' Erving

Browns Continue Building Through Lines

Joel Bitonio

Age

23

Height/Weight

6' 4", 305 pounds

College

Nevada

Experience

1 year

2014 Stats

PFF Grade: #5 OG Overall = 22.4, Pass Blocking = 10.2, Run Blocking = 11.7

Estimated Current Depth Chart Position

LG1 - Bitonio is the Browns starting LG so some may wonder why he is here. Keeping reading.

Strengths

Bitonio was an amazingly consistent rookie. He graded out higher than Cowboys Rookie of the Year Zach Martin even.

Areas of Concerns

If forced to move over to the left 1 spot, Bitonio would have to show that he can handle the exterior rush but his one year of experience and success shows that he should be able to.

Projected 2015 Depth Chart Position

LT2 - If Thomas goes down, Bitonio seems like the backup. The Browns have some options at LG that could be much better than the options available as the backup LT. Bitonio played tackle in college.

Role Expectations

Bitonio is the hard nosed, hard worker of the offensive line.

Off-season will be a success if...

Continued development going into his second season.

Related Links

Bitonio Pre-Draft Analysis - Subscriber

Browns Select Bitonio

Mitchell Schwartz

Age

25

Height/Weight

6' 5", 320 pounds

College

California

Experience

3 years

2014 Stats

PFF Grade: #33 OT Overall = 0.5, Pass Blocking = 6.3, Run Blocking = -6.6

Estimated Current Depth Chart Position

RT1 - While fans don't love Schwartz, he graded out as the 33rd best tackle, left and right, overall last year by PFF. He will get the first shot at the job.

Strengths

Tactician, pass blocking. His PFF grades show that Mitchell is good as a pass blocker, 22nd OT in that area. He is very tactical, winning with form and leverage over pure skill and physical talents.

Areas of Concerns

Quickness and run blocking. Schwartz often gets beat by quicker opponents and his run blocking score was the 69th ranking. On a team that likes to run the ball, this is pretty unacceptable.

Projected 2015 Depth Chart Position

RT2 - Schwartz will compete for the starting job but the Browns may hope that he loses it based on his run blocking but another year in a similar system might help him.

Role Expectations

Competitor and solid backup team player. If Schwartz loses his starting job, he must keep his head up.

Off-season will be a success if...

Schwartz fends off the competition and holds on to his starting job.

Related Links

Schwartz Improved in 2013

Young Schwartz Talks

Michael Bowie

Age

23

Height/Weight

6' 4", 332 pounds

College

Oklahoma State/Northeastern State

Experience

2 years

2013 Stats

PFF Grade: #31 OT Overall = 4.4, Pass Blocking = -3.7, Run Blocking = 9.1

Estimated Current Depth Chart Position

RT2 - Bowie is the man of mystery who sat out all of last year. He will have to beat Schwartz for the starting job but will be given every chance to do so.

Strengths

Size and strength. Bowie is a big boy and has the power to make a big impact in the run game. He started games for the Seahawks in 2013 and played well, the 12th best run blocking OT. His injury allowed the Browns to swoop in and pick him up.

Areas of Concerns

Technique. As shown by his bad pass blocking rating, Bowie struggles with technique. He is the opposite of Schwartz. Which one improves their weakness should win the job.

Projected 2015 Depth Chart Position

RT1 - Bowie is someone the Browns really liked and should grow with some experience. His year off should have helped him learn more technique and his run blocking will be something the Browns love.

Role Expectations

Big mauling right tackle to either take the starting job or push Schwartz and be a good backup.

Off-season will be a success if...

Bowie must come in to camp in shape. In shape and focused are the two keys for Bowie to claim the starting job.

Related Links

Meet Bowie in 2011

Bowie Chooses a College - Subscriber

Other Receivers on Roster

Karim Barton, Vinston Painter

What are your thoughts on the Browns OT Depth Chart this off-season?


Follow TheOBR on twitter: @TheOBR

What Do You Think?


The OBR Top Stories