On a day when the Cleveland Browns made a bunch of cuts, they also added a couple players to their roster to bolster the depth on the Browns offensive line. The Browns acquired Karim Barton and Donald Hawkins off waivers from the Philadelphia Eagles.
These are the 3rd and 4th offensive linemen the Browns have claimed off waivers since the end of July. It obviously points to the Browns having concerns at that position. Late in July they claimed Nick McDonald from the San Diego Chargers and then in early August they claimed Michael Bowie, in what may have broken an unwritten rule of claiming an injured player, from the Seattle Seahawks.
Barton is a rookie guard out of little Morgan State. he played right tackle in college but is moving inside at the NFL level. He stands 6-2 and 313 pounds. Scouting reports have him as a better fit in a power running game than the Browns Zone Blocking Scheme where he is expected to pull and get out in front of blocks.
Hawkins is a taller guard, standing at 6-4, also in his rookie season. Hawkins played at Texas and made the 2nd team all league in 2013. He started 24 out of 25 games in his two seasons with the Longhorns. Unlike Barton scouting reports show that Hawkins is light on his feet and can play well in the Browns ZBS. He has to learn to play with balance but excels at using angles to make proper blocks.
Expect the Browns to be active in roster movements all year long as they try to find the right players for their new systems on both offense and defense. The Browns want to compete this year and will make moves to try to make that a reality. Building from the inside out, both on offense and defense, is a solid way to improve the team. The defensive line is stout and deep so it looks like the offensive line is going to get the majority of the attention.
There will be other moves as well. We looked at the possibility of adding a receiver in a trade earlier this morning, Stephen Hill, and wouldn’t be surprised if that position is in flux most of the year. With all the injuries in the secondary another corner would also fit the Browns needs.
What do you think of the 4 additions to the offensive line this year?