Trevon Coley making the most of his opportunities

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 24: Cleveland Browns helmet (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 24: Cleveland Browns helmet (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns need good men along the defensive line, and undrafted free agent Trevon Coley is doing what he can to answer the call.

The Cleveland Browns defensive line will be receiving a considerable amount of attention in the weeks to come.

The starting unit features a pair of high first-round selections in Danny Shelton and Myles Garrett, as well as Emmanuel Ogbah, who was in demand when the Browns selected him at the top of the second round in 2016.

With those three positions on lock down, the training camp and preseason battles will focus on the backups and the starting defensive tackle slot next to Shelton.

Desmond Bryant appears to have an inside track to grab the starter’s role, which is a mild surprise given Cleveland’s movement away from players over the age of 30, and third-round selection Larry Ogunjobi will also be a major part of the defensive tackle rotation.

One name that is emerging, however, is Trevon Coley, an undrafted free agent out of Florida Atlantic who spent time on Cleveland’s practice squad late last season. With rookie Caleb Brantley out of action with a broken finger, and Xavier Cooper still being Xavier Cooper, Coley has spent some time with the first-team defense and is making the most of his opportunity, head coach Hue Jackson told

"“The way we kind of do it on defense is you earn your keep. He is playing well. We will keep giving guys opportunities. If you demonstrate on our football team that you have the skill and you can help us win, we are going to give you an opportunity to be out there.”"

A four-year player for the Owls, Coley finished his collegiate career with 195 tackles, 24 tackles for loss and 14 sacks. He is the type of player who can easily catch a coach’s eye in practice, according to his draft profile at

"Coaches praise him for his practice habits and energy. Outstanding tackle production with 118 over the last two seasons. Good play quickness off the snap and intensity cranks up when he senses an opening through a gap. Able to fight through redirect blocks once he gets into a blocker’s edge. Active pass rusher."

There are always players like Coley who “flash” (to use one of Jackson’s favorite terms) early in training camp only to fade away before the start of the regular season. But with Cooper not having any particular attachment to the current coaching staff, and Brantley no lock to make the roster even before his injury, Coley could flip the script on everyone.

Next: Danny Shelton's impressive offseason

It is still very early in the process – the Browns have barely begun practicing in pads and won’t face an opponent in a game for another week – but the opportunity is there for Coley is he can continue to impress the coaching staff.