3. Austin Corbett, Guard
The Browns could have made a huge splash with the No. 4 pick in 2018 by selecting North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb. After taking Baker Mayfield first overall, Chubb was there for the taking and the Cleveland defensive line would have been insane had they paired him with 2017 first overall pick Myles Garrett.
They decided against taking that route as they chose Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward instead. The reasoning behind this was twofold. One, they felt that defensive back was a greater need which gave the tiebreaker to Ward. Two, they believed Emmanuel Ogbah could take the next step in his progression.
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While Ward proved to be a great pick, Ogbah ended up not making the leap they hoped for. That led to a trade this offseason as John Dorsey struck a deal for Olivier Vernon from the New York Giants. While Vernon gives them a potent edge rushing attack, the price for his services was lofty as they sent starting right guard Kevin Zeitler to the G-Men.
In making this trade, Dorsey sent a vote of confidence to Austin Corbett, who was chosen at No. 33 overall out of Nevada a season ago. Corbett spent the majority of his rookie season watching the action from the sidelines as he worked hard in practice to transition from offensive tackle to guard. Now, he’s the favorite to replace Zeitler.
Dorsey has come out and said he believes in the young man, but Cleveland still protected themselves by adding depth behind him with players such as Eric Kush who has previous starting experience in the NFL. Even with Kush in town, the move to trade Zeitler had a lot to do with the confidence they have in Corbett to get the job done.