Cleveland Browns: Who will play left tackle?
By Joel W. Cade
Austin Corbett plays left tackle during OTA’s
The other significant option for left tackle is Austin Corbett. Corbett was drafted with the No. 33 overall pick out of Nevada. Joining his college teammate left guard Joel Bitonio, Corbett has been consistently compared to Bitonio. And for good reason, their game is very similar.
Like Bitonio, Corbett is a very athletic tackle who can run block with a vengeance. His zone blocking skills are excellent as he can engage linebackers at the second level consistently. However, Corbett struggled in pass protection situations in college.
Once factor that may help both Coleman and Corbett is a potential shift the pass protection scheme. Joe Thomas was the master of the vertical drop in pass protection. His signature shot put style drop is the best technique for pass blocking available. Unfortunately it is extremely difficult to master.
By changing to what Howard Mudd describes as dish protection. This style of protection does not use the vertical drop Thomas mastered. Instead, the tackles will take short drops and engage the defenders close to the line of scrimmage. Such a method will make sense for the Browns if they are seriously thinking of having height challenged quarterbacks Tyrod Taylor and Baker Mayfield take longer drops.
If there is a change in protection style, Austin Corbett would be the big winner. It would play to his strength as a offensive linemen. It would allow him to engage defenders close to the line of scrimmage and win the pass protection battle in a phone booth battle.
Next: Ranking the Browns 28 Starting QB’s Since 1999
However this plays out, the Browns will be significantly weaker and more unstable at the position. Nobody replaces Joe Thomas, they simply come after him.