The Browns announced that they have signed second-round draft choice Austin Corbett, the first player picked in the second round (No. 33 overall). Cleveland has also signed its two sixth round selections, WR Damion Ratley (No. 175 overall) and CB Simeon Thomas (No. 188 overall).
Corbett, a Nevada product, helped his draft stock dramatically during Senior Bowl practices, when he reportedly “dominated everybody” while lining up at center, guard, or right tackle. Given that he does not have ideal size for an NFL tackle (6-4, 306 pounds), many feel that he may ultimately be forced to line up inside at the professional level, but the Browns believe he can play on the edge.
Regardless of where he lines up, he will be protecting a valuable commodity. While the Browns are reportedly set on opening the season with Tyrod Taylor under center, the team did just make QB Baker Mayfield the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, and the reigning Heisman Trophy winner figures to take the reins sooner rather than later.
And, if Corbett wins the left tackle job — his primary competition for that role is 2016 third-rounder Shon Coleman, who served as Cleveland’s right tackle last season — he will have pretty big shoes to fill. Joe Thomas, a 10-time Pro Bowler and six-time All-Pro who had been entrenched at the left tackle position for the Browns since 2007, announced his retirement in March, thereby opening up an opportunity for Corbett or Coleman.
Corbett is the only offensive lineman Cleveland selected in this year’s draft.