What Happened to Eric Young?

Eric Young, a well-regarded offensive lineman considered to be a high second-day pick somehow fell through the draft to the Cleveland Browns. His fall continued on Monday when the team released him after rookie mini-camp. The OBR has learned, however, that the story's not over...

The OBR has learned that OL Eric Young's stay in Cleveland may not necessarily be over.

Every year, there are a couple of well-regarded players who drop through the draft. As soon as "Mr. Irrelevant's" name is called and the draft is over, teams work furiously to get the best of what's left into their rookie camps.

If you were tuned in to the OBR live ultrablog on Sunday of draft weekend, you would seen a bit of discussion about two of those players as the draft finished up: DB Jonathan Zenon and OL Eric Young. Young, in particular, seemed a mystery as he remained available. The offensive guard was ranked #17 at his position in the draft by Scout.com, but some other services had him listed higher. NFLDraftScout.com, for example, had him listed as the 6th best guard in the country, and a fourth round pick.

When the Browns announced their rookie free agent signings, many astute Browns fans were happy to see that Young signed up with Cleveland. The team also was able to snap up Zenon without a contract as a tryout player, indicating that teams had a much lower opinion of him than ESPN's Mel Kiper, who had him ranked as one of the top available defensive backs as the draft wound through its second day.

Eric Young, however, seemed to be one of the gems of the Browns rookie free agent class, along with Darnell Terrell. So, there was some surprise on Monday when the Browns released Young as one of six rookie free agents let go after mini-camp.

NFL sources have told the OBR that the team hasn't entirely let go of the offensive lineman yet. Young was released after rookie camp officially not because he failed to impress the coaching staff, but rather because he failed to pass his physical. Yesterday, we've been told, the Browns placed Young on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list. While they can dump Young from this list when the time is right, for now Cleveland continues to control his destiny. When prospects have solid upside, like many say Young has, it never hurts to figure out ways to keep them around.

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