Addressing Cleveland Browns' needs: Center



"The Browns are believed to be working at trying to sign Mack to a long-term contract."*

As is the case with the uncertain status of safety T.J. Ward, this position falls into the category of a need whose priority could dramatically climb if the Browns don't retain Alex Mack, who is due to enter free agency next month.

If Mack leaves the team, then the Browns would likely look to land a center in free agency and perhaps also in the draft.

Mack has long been one of the NFL's top players at his position, and that was verified by his being voted to the Pro Bowl and selected to the NFL All-Pro squad. He brings a competition of considerable intelligence, athleticism, and a fiery attitude that is contagious.

The Browns are believed to be working at trying to sign Mack to a long-term contract. Reportedly, Mack is interested in finding out more about what the Browns' new offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, has in mind for him.

By most accounts, Mack would seemingly be a good fit in Shanahan's outside zone-blocking scheme, which requires offensive linemen to mostly block on the move.

Still, in the event Mack leaves the Browns, it will be essential to get the anchor spot on the offensive line right. And they need to do so immediately to allow Shanahan's scheme to work effectively.

The Browns would figure to take a close look at center in free agency. One of the top players on that list, along with Mack, is Brian De La Puente from the New Orleans Saints.

Possibilities in the draft include Travis Swanson from Arkansas, Weston Richburg from Colorado State, and Marcus Martin from USC.

>>This Road to the Draft segment is driven by Liberty Ford.

>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET, for "Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford" on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on

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