BEREA, Ohio -- One of the most hotly contested position battles as the Browns preseason begins is at right tackle.
Most knew trying to replace Mitchell Schwartz, who never missed a snap in his four seasons with the Browns, might be harder than anticipated.
In order to have the rushing game that Hue Jackson wants to have and to be able to protect Robert Griffin III, the Browns need to have a trustworthy right tackle.
The Browns addressed the need in the off-season by signing four-year veteran Alvin Bailey, who was a part-time starter for the Seahawks at guard and tackle. They also used a third-and fifth-round draft choice on Shon Coleman and Spencer Drango, respectively. Austin Pasztor, a hold over from last year is also in the mix. Dan France has also been used at right tackle in training camp.
Many assumed Coleman would have the inside track since they drafted him in the third round, but he missed all of the OTA's and minicamps as he recovered from a MCL surgery after last season. Coleman has been working with the second team primarily as he works his way back.
Bailey started training camp as the right tackle, but has been supplanted recently by Drango and Pasztor in recent days. On the first depth chart released by the team for the Packers preseason game, Drango is listed as the starter, followed by Bailey and Coleman. Pasztor started the final four games at left guard for the Browns in 2015.
Jackson was asked when he expected the position to be settled.
“It’s unsettled until I say it’s settled," Jackson said after Monday's practice. "I don’t mean that in a bad way. We’re just going to keep finding combinations. I’m going to keep moving people around until I find the five best guys to put out there. It’s no mark on anybody. I just want to see different combinations and see what’s going to be the best thing for us as we move forward.”
Drango likes the opportunity he's been presented.
“It’s just a great opportunity," Drango said. "I have to take advantage of it. They put me there to make plays, and hopefully, I can step up and make them.”
Drango played left tackle at Baylor, but he said making the switch to right tackle is fine with him, if it means a chance to play.
“The coaches are always evaluating guys," he said. "I think the starting job is always up for grabs until that first regular season game. Other than that, I think you just have to keep working. Everyone out here is busting their butts trying to get on the 53.”