Aug 23, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Joel Bitonio (75) and tackle Joe Thomas (73) block St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn (94) in the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
No surprises here, as the offensive line is easily the strongest group on offense.
Left tackle Joe Thomas checks in as the lone Elite player on offense, while left guard Joel Bitonio and Mack both receive a ranking of High Quality. On the right side of the line, guard John Greco and much-maligned tackle Mitchell Schwartz fall into the Good category.
Among the backups, guard Michael Bowie surprisingly checks in at average, while the rest of the group, including first-round draft pick Cameron Erving, are all too inexperienced (or are rookies) to earn a ranking.
This grouping is spot on and has gotten better simply because McDonald is no longer on the roster. As PFF points out, while filling in for Mack in 2014, McDonald earned the “third-worst grade at center (-28.3) in the process and did so on less than half as many snaps as the guys just below him.”
It’s no wonder the offense struggled once Mack was injured.
The line should also get better with the addition of Erving, who worked so far at both tackle positions, center and right guard during the just-completed Organized Team Activities.
Next: Wide Receivers