4 Browns who could earn a roster spot in preseason Week 3

Browns, Johnny Stanton. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Browns, Johnny Stanton. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
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Browns, Brock Hoffman. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 3: Brock Hoffman

If undrafted Brock Hoffman continues to keep his quarterback upright, there is no reason why he cannot be the backup center. We would probably like to see him do the same thing for the less mobile Jacoby Brissett that he has done for Dobbs.

Dobbs, however, is more of a rollout passer and might mask some blocking breakdowns by his offensive line because of his mobility and ability to elude the pass rush. Thus, Hoffman has been outstanding as a pass blocker, but Dobbs has helped him by not staying in one place for very long.

Ethan Pocic is a well-established veteran with 40 NFL starts for Seattle. However, he settled for a reserve role for a reason so it shouldn’t be a shock if Hoffman becomes the starter at some point this season. He has already progressed a long way from his college days. He started his college career at Coastal Carolina and was an immediate starter.

One thing to know about his career was that his mother was diagnosed with acoustic neuroma, which is a benign tumor that affects the inner ear and had to be removed surgically. Hoffman wanted to transfer to Virginia Tech, partly to be closer to his mother.

The NCAA didn’t grant his appeal for immediate eligibility, and consequently, he had to sit out a year (moral: life, and especially the NCAA, is not always sympathetic or fair). He had an extra year of full practice as a Hokie, going up top competition in practice but not playing in games. The net result is that he has had five years of top college competition and has mainly played center, but has also played guard and tackle when his team needed him to adjust due to injuries elsewhere on the line.

He’s thus a very mature prospect at age 23, extremely ready for professional football. His trophy case includes accolades such as All-ACC Academic Team honors, Wells Fargo Advisors Humanitarian of the Year, and Wuerffel Trophy Semifinalist. Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Semifinalist, Allstate AFCA Good Works Team Nominee, All-ACC Honorable Mention.

This is the type of leader that the Browns need as the starting center. Pocic should be the starter for now, but Hoffman looks like he’s ready if called upon. One more good game and he should be in. He has accumulated 60 snaps, including 20 at center, and has the highest pass blocking grade on the team, according to Pro Football Focus. What is there to not like?