Browns Mailbag

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Browns Mailbag: Doubling down at QB, addressing the safety position and more

Our inbox was so full after Wednesday's Mailbag that we felt the need to deliver a bonus edition heading into the weekend … [



Do you think the Cleveland Browns will ever try a two QB draft even in the next year or two? Hopefully we can land a great QB, and his backup just to take "more shots at the position." -- Jacob B., Seville

The Browns aren't ruling anything out when it comes to addressing the most important position on the field, so I can't rule out this sort of strategy in the upcoming draft. That said, it's fairly rare. It's happened just three times since 2008 and only once did it occur when the team used a first-round pick in the draft on a quarterback. That, of course, was in 2012, when the Washington Redskins selected Robert Griffin III with their first-round pick and Kirk Cousins with their fourth-rounder. In 2010, the Panthers used a second-rounder on Jimmy Clausen and a sixth-rounder on Tony Pike and in 2008, the Packers picked Brian Brohm in the second round and Matt Flynn in the seventh.

If the Browns don't get offensive line, it's just going to be another bad year, so what are they going to do about their offensive line? -- Robert C., Columbus

The first task at hand is the pending free agency of Austin Pasztor. The fifth-year player started 15 games at right tackle and one at right guard last season. He's a versatile offensive lineman who has helped the Browns in multiple ways over the past two seasons.

The second step is analyzing the free-agent market and seeing if there are opportunities to exercise appropriate aggressiveness to make the team better. Some of the more notable names include Luke Joeckel, Chance Warmack, Matt Kalil and Kevin Zeitler.

As the team prepares for the NFL draft, they'll not only scout the top available talent, but assess the progress and potential of its young offensive linemen: Cameron Erving, Shon Coleman and Spencer Drango. That will be crucial in decision-making as the Browns balance best player available vs. need along the offensive line.

The last step is simply getting healthy. Guards Joel Bitonio and John Greco saw their seasons end with serious foot injuries, Bitonio's coming in Week 5 and Greco's coming much later in the season against the Giants. If both are back at full strength, the Browns have definite, veteran answers at three of the five positions on the offensive line, joining left tackle Joe Thomas.

If I'm running the draft I'm taking defense at 1 and 12 then taking the best OL left on the board at 33 and maybe another offensive weapon with the second 2nd-round pick. After a decent rookie year what are the Browns thoughts on Kessler? -- Mitch M., Wauseon

Kessler was pressed into far more action than most expected during his rookie season. The Browns lost their top two quarterbacks within the first two weeks of the season, and Kessler was thrust into the starting role by Week 3. He started more games than any other Browns quarterback and had some strong moments. He gained respect from players and coaches for the way he prepared week in and week out. That said, the Browns simply weren't good enough at the quarterback position to enter 2017 with any definitive answers. Kessler has plenty of upside and is entering his second year in the NFL, so he figures to have a role in whatever kind of competition awaits in training camp this season.

Who is the current quarterback coach? -- David F., Cape Girardeau, Missouri

The Browns currently do not have anyone on staff with that specific title. At last week's Senior Bowl practices, tight ends coach Greg Seamon worked with the quarterbacks while offensive line coach Mark Hutson worked with the tight ends. Browns coach Hue Jackson, who works heavily with the quarterbacks, stressed that nothing was set in stone with the makeup of his offensive staff, and that remains the case heading into Super Bowl weekend.

I believe a major concern for our Browns is at safety. I really feel we need a big-time thumper with closing speed to assist over the top and strike fear in our division. Can you elaborate a little on whether or not you think the Browns might be looking to draft a "BOSS" at Safety? GO BROWNS! -- Ed O., Naples, Florida

I'd certainly label it as one of the highest-ranking positions of need heading into the offseason. The Browns were hit hard with injuries and inconsistency at the safety position throughout the year, and there's no clear, sure-thing answers returning in 2017. Rookie Derrick Kindred showed some promise before his season ended with a foot injury and Ed Reynolds III did a nice job stabilizing the group and limiting deep balls during the latter part of the season.

If the Browns look at free agents, some of the top names could include Tony Jefferson (Arizona), T.J. McDonald (Los Angeles Rams) and Matt Elam (Baltimore). This year's draft is particularly strong at safety, as LSU's Jamal Adams is projected as a potential top-five pick while Ohio State's Malik Hooker and Michigan's Jabril Peppers are also slated as first-rounders. Also keep an eye on UConn's Obi Melifonwu, who had a very good week at the Senior Bowl and is projected by many as a second-round pick.

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