The Cleveland Browns seemed to have solidified the right guard job until Drew Forbes earned first-team reps, but does he have a real shot at the job?
The battle to become the starting right guard for the Cleveland Browns was one of the early stories during training camp, but the noise around the competition has started to dwindle. That is until rookie Drew Forbes earned reps with the first-team offense.
The competition started with Austin Corbett, Eric Kush, and Kyle Kalis vying for the job. But during the lead up to the preseason opener against the Washington Redskins, Kush started to take control of the job and started working with the first-team offense full-time.
However, despite Kush’s extensive work with the first-team, head coach Freddie Kitchens claimed no one had won the job just yet. And that may be the case, as Forbes, a sixth-round selection who primarily played tackle in college, has earned reps with the first-team offense during the lead up to their second preseason game of 2019.
More from Dawg Pound Daily
- How the Browns could maximize Nick Chubb in 2023
- Can Deshaun Watson get to Patrick Mahomes level for Cleveland Browns?
- 3 Cleveland Browns who should see an expanded role in 2023 and 1 who should not
- Is Marcus Davenport on the Browns radar in 2023?
- 5 Free agents from Super Bowl LVII Cleveland Browns should target
Forbes’ time with the first and second team is mildly surprising considering the competition at right guard. But with Kalis recovering from a concussion, the Browns needed someone to step up to take some reps.
Although he has been somewhat under the radar during the offseason and training camp, Forbes has obviously put in the work to get reps with the top offense. Kitchens said Thursday it is because he’s kept working no matter the situation he’s been put in since being drafted by the Browns.
"“He has gotten better. He kept his head down when everything around him seemed to be falling apart. He kept his head down and just kept working. I think he has seen some of the benefits of doing it like that. That is just one example. He is doing well or he is doing better…..He flashed in the game the other night so that earned him some more reps. He flashed yesterday so that earned him some more reps.” – Freddie Kitchens via ClevelandBrowns.com"
The 22-year-old offensive linemen has worked every position on the line except for center during training camp. Since he is slowly climbing his way up the depth chart, it’s apparent that Forbes has been able to handle the mental hurdles of switching positions and still perform on the field.
Now that he is working the top offensive groups, does it mean that he has a real shot at winning the right guard job, even ahead of Corbett? Although it would be a great story, it is hard to see Forbes winning the job for the season opener.
Forbes has obviously performed well enough to earn the looks with the first and second team offenses. However, with only one more preseason game until the Browns have their “dress rehearsal,” they should be close to deciding on the position. And because communication is such a vital aspect of offensive line, Kush being with the first-team offense for the past two weeks makes him a clear favorite since he has built chemistry with the starting group.
Forbes also got the first-team reps towards the end of the practice period, so the Browns could be wanting to see what he could do with the group instead of inserting him into the right guard competition. Kitchens mentioned young players like Forbes need to just play, so they may have just been giving him extra reps.
And even though Corbett has spent much of the past two weeks as the backup center, he should still be considered the backup right guard. Cleveland does not have an experienced center behind J.C. Tretter, so they need to make sure they have someone capable of manning the position if something were to happen to Tretter.
Since Corbett has spent most of his time at right guard during camp, he will need as many reps at center as possible in order to be prepared to be the backup. So with Kush seemingly having the right guard job locked down, Corbett is now getting the extra work at center. And if something were to happen to Kush, Corbett should have enough reps at the position to be able to slide into the role if needed.
Forbes seems to be working his way into being a part of the future of the Cleveland Browns offensive line. He is obviously impressing the coaching staff and is climbing the depth chart. But his best chance to become a starter on the line would likely happen during the season.
The right guard competition has been viewed as an issue since no one has stood out. But Forbes potentially made his mark later into camp than what would have been needed to have a real shot at the job. Even if he does not win the job out of camp, it may not take long before Forbes becomes a starter for the Browns.