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Browns Mailbag

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Browns Mailbag: How will O-line look after big moves?

We got so many questions in the wake of free agency that we decided to double it up on mailbags this week. [



Five big questions coming right up.

We want to go to the London game. When will they release the date? -- Tom D., Medina

Though dates have been set for the two games at Wembley Stadium, they've yet to be announced for the Browns' game against Minnesota and Arizona's game against the Rams. All we know is it will be either Week 7 (Oct. 22) or Week 8 (Oct. 29). Presumably, a bye will come the following week. We should have a finalized date when the entire NFL schedule is announced sometime next month.

Assuming the Browns are done adding offensive linemen, with Joe Thomas at left tackle and Joel Bitonio at left guard, what's the rest of the starting line looking like? -- Corey G., Chillicothe

As it stands now, you'd figure Kevin Zeitler slides into right guard and JC Tretter takes over at center. That leaves an opening at right tackle, where the Browns could see the likes of Shon Coleman, Spencer Drango and Cameron Erving compete. Last year's regular starter, Austin Pasztor, remains an unrestricted free agent. Drango didn't play at the position during the season but he learned it throughout training camp. Erving, who played mostly at center last season, started the finale at right tackle. And Coleman, a third-round pick in the 2016 draft, is projected to play at the position as he moves forward in his career. He didn't see the field much as a rookie but showed encouraging signs in spot duty against the Steelers to close out the season.

With the draft capital the Browns now possess with all their trades, do you believe it is wise to draft injured high-talent players "at a bargain draft pick," so to speak, that have to sit the first year? For example, Jacksonville did it last year with Myles Jack (potential top-five pick that fell to second round because of injury). This year, for example, it may be Sidney Jones, a potential first rounder that may fall to the middle rounds because he tore his Achilles' tendon. -- Brent H., Kalida

That's an interesting question and it will be a hot topic as the draft comes closer. Jones was projected as a mid-first round pick before he went down with a major injury at his Pro Day. There's almost no point in using precedent here because each injury is a case-by-case thing. Jack, for example, was able to play last season for the Jaguars. Jaylon Smith, a projected first-round pick before he injured his knee in a bowl game, did not see the field as a rookie after Dallas used a second-round selection on him. It's a little easier to pull the trigger on a player you know won't be available for the upcoming season when you have as many picks as the Browns but it's a decision that definitely has to be measured. The Browns want production out of these picks, particularly the ones coming in the early rounds. Jones might be too good to stick on the board beyond the second round.

Hey, if the Browns don't sign Jamie Meder I'll be disappointed because he's the only reason why we won a game last year. I think we sign him and keep him. We could sign Jonathan Jenkins to go along with Danny Shelton. -- Turner, Cleveland

The Browns tendered Meder, an exclusive rights free agent, before the necessary deadline. As for Jenkins, it looks like he's off the market after reportedly agreeing to a deal with the Bears.

The offensive line is so very important for success in both the rushing and passing game. Do we have enough or do we need to address it within the first two rounds of the draft? -- Bob R., Troy

Never say never, but I'm of the opinion the Browns did plenty to address their needs along the offensive line in free agency with the additions of Zeitler and Tretter and the re-signing of Bitonio. The Browns also have a nice group of young talent in Drango and Coleman to go along with Thomas, a perennial Pro Bowler. Though this draft is light on top-end offensive line talent, it certainly wouldn't surprise me to see Cleveland add a body or two with one of its 11 picks.

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