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Old, new faces to watch at Browns OTAs

Posted May 18, 2018

Cleveland's veterans and rookies come together for practice

The Browns kick off OTAs next week as veterans and rookies come together for practice for the first time. With what'll a new-look roster on display, here's five old and new faces to look out for.

Five old faces:

1. OL Joel Bitonio: Following the retirement of Joe Thomas, the fifth-year left guard will take on a greater leadership role now that the Browns are without their future Hall-of-Fame left tackle. Bitonio, named a Pro Bowl alternate last season, was a bright spot both on and off the field throughout the team’s winless campaign. He'll almost certainly continue that trend in 2018 as one of the league's top interior linemen.

2. DE Myles Garrett: After leading the Browns with seven sacks in 11 games, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft will look to make a jump in Year 2. Garrett, the former Texas A&M edge rusher, was limited by a high-ankle sprain last season, but still flashed the dominating talent that drew the Browns to him in the first place.

3. DL Larry Ogunjobi: The second-year defensive tackle is in the mix to start on the Browns' interior defensive line following a trade that sent Danny Shelton to New England. Ogunjobi, a third-round pick in 2017, showed promise in 14 games.

4. LB Jamie Collins: After signing an extension to stay in Cleveland, Collins’ 2017 season was ravaged by injuries, including a season-ending knee injury against the Lions in early November. Still, Collins — the former Patriots standout who helped New England win a Super Bowl in 2014 — remains a key cog on a promising defense.

5. T Shon Coleman: Coleman, a third-round pick in 2016, had ups and downs in his debut as a starter on Cleveland’s offensive line, playing all 16 games at right tackle. Now, he’ll compete to be Thomas’ heir on the left side.

Five new faces:

1. QB Tyrod Taylor: All eyes will be on the Browns’ starting quarterback. Taylor, acquired via a trade with Buffalo, helped the Bills snap a 17-year playoff drought last season. He’ll try and do the same in Cleveland.

2. WR Jarvis Landry: The three-time Pro Bowler led the NFL with 114 receptions in 2017. Coupled with Taylor and Josh Gordon, the hope is that Landry continues that production with the Browns.

3.  RT Chris Hubbard: Hubbard is expected to be the Browns’ starting right tackle with Coleman moved over to the left side. Hubbard, who spent the past four seasons with the Steelers, played in 16 games, starting 10 last, year.

4. CB Denzel Ward: The fourth-overall pick in last month’s draft, Ward is a hometown kid (he grew up in nearby Macedonia) playing for his hometown team. An All-American at Ohio State, he’ll compete for a starting job on a Browns defensive secondary in need of playmakers.

5. RB Carlos Hyde: Hyde will compete to be the Browns’ feature back after the departure of Isaiah Crowell in free agency. Hyde, the former Ohio State standout, is coming off back-to-back seasons of at least 1,000 all-purpose yards.

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