The Cleveland Browns boast one of the NFL’s best offensive lines. Will they remain at the top in 2022?
The Cleveland Browns have enjoyed back-to-back seasons of having one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. In theory, the Browns could run it back with the same group in 2022. But there are difficult decisions looming in the offensive line room going forward. Will the Browns front office run it back in 2022 or will they shuffle the deck?
The old adage ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ could definitely apply to Cleveland’s offensive line room in 2022. However, the Browns do not have a front office full of Ivy Leaguers because their diplomas look fancy on an office wall. There’s no doubt that they are doing their due diligence and preparing for every possible scenario to keep the unit playing at an elite level.
As currently constructed, the Browns offensive line boasts three All-Pro caliber players, a very good veteran at center, and a former 10th overall pick going into his third season. Not a lot of holes by any stretch, but there are several different angles and permutations that need to be examined if the Browns want that positional group to stay at the tip of the spear in the league.
Jack Conklin’s Injury
Jack Conklin was brought into Cleveland to solidify the right tackle position in 2020. Solidifying would be an understatement. Conklin fit the Browns blocking schemes like a glove and was awarded first team All-Pro status in 2020.
However, Conklin’s 2021 campaign in Cleveland was anything but smooth. The All-Pro tackle suffered a dislocated elbow against the Steelers on October 31st. Normally a dislocated elbow is an injury that could sideline a player for the remainder of the season. But Conklin fought through the injury and was able to return for the Browns Sunday night showdown with the Ravens on Nov. 28th.
Unfortunately, Conklin’s comeback was short lived, as he suffered a torn patellar tendon in the second quarter and was lost for the remainder of the season. Because of the nature of the injury, the Browns now have a large question mark looming over the right tackle position. While it is not unfeasible that Conklin could return from the injury in time for training camp, it does highlight the one weakness of the offensive line room: the lack of depth at offensive tackle.