Greatest offensive lineman in Cleveland Browns history: #10. Joel Bitonio
The Browns have gone through so much change since 2017 that guard Joel Bitonio and linebacker Christian Kirksey enter the 2019 season as the longest tenured members of the team. Both were added in 2014, with Bitono being selected at No. 35 overall out of Nevada.
Bitonio played tackle at Nevada, but was quickly moved to guard in the NFL. At that position, he’s been able to shine. He started all 16 games as a rookie before two injury-plagued seasons in 2015 and 2016.
Bitonio missed a total of 17 games in that stretch, but still played at a high level when he was on the field and was able to earn a big contract heading into 2017. He and the Browns agreed to a five-year contract that paid him $51.2 million, with $23.7 million being guaranteed.
He was able to shake those early injury issues and now has started all 16 games the past two seasons. In those two years, he’s developed into one of the best interior guards in the NFL and made his first Pro Bowl appearance in 2018.
That was also a year in which he showed off his versatility. With Cleveland saying goodbye to all-time great left tackle Joe Thomas following 2017, Bitonio was moved out to left tackle during the preseason.
He performed admirably at that position and would have been a good option. The only issue was there was too much of a let down from him to his replacement at guard, so he moved back to his original position. Still, knowing he can move around like that and not miss a beat is a testament to the kind of player Bitonio is.