Browns Mailbag

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Browns Mailbag: Which undrafted free agent could break through in 2020?

It's a special weekend edition of the Browns Mailbag, and we're tackling questions that involve all three phases of the game.

Of the undrafted free agents, who do you see possibly making an impact? — Don H., Fenwick, Ontario

This is a tricky one because we've yet to see these guys actually take the field. Usually, you'll have a player or two really jump out at you during this period. You'll also hear from their teammates and get a gauge on just how quickly they're catching on to the NFL game. With that in mind, we're asking you not to hold us to these predictions or make more of them than they need to be. They're simply based on the position they play and the potential fit they could have on this roster.

Here are a few names to consider.

CB A.J. Green - It was a relative stunner he wasn't drafted after a decorated career at Oklahoma State. He joins a Browns group of cornerbacks led by Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams that includes at least a couple of available spots for a player who can provide valuable depth.

OT Alex Taylor - You can never have enough tackles, and Taylor has the tools to become a good one. The former basketball player measures at 6-foot-8 and 301 pounds and was impressive at the NFL Combine. He'll compete for a depth spot behind Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills Jr.

WRs Ja'Marcus Bradley/Tony Brown - Both players were incredibly productive in college — Bradley caught 160 passes for 2,359 yards; Brown is coming off a 56-catch senior season — but it's all about the position group they're joining. Behind Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, the Browns have opportunities available for wide receivers who impress at training camp.

LB Solomon Ajayi - We're using the same logic at linebacker — where the Browns are young and able to provide opportunities for those who show out at training camp — that was previously applied to the wide receiver. Ajayi started 25 games at Liberty after transferring from Bakersfield College.

"Browns Live: Meet the Rookies" presented by MANCAN will take your knowledge to another level. Hosted by Nathan Zegura, the interactive live show will feature interviews with all seven members of the class, in-depth analysis and plenty of opportunities for fans to have their questions answered by the players themselves. Check out photos of the guests!

Mr. Gribble, the Browns have not had two 1,000 yard rushers in the same season for a long time. Do you think with Coach Stefanski's offense that Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb can get it done again? — Joseph C., Adelanto, California

The Browns last had two 1,000-yard rushers in the same season in 1985, when Kevin Mack and Earnest Byner combined for 2,106 yards in a near even split. They were just the third duo in NFL history to accomplish it at the time, and there have only been four in the 35 years since. Baltimore's Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram became the second QB-RB duo to accomplish the feat last season and they were the first duo of any kind to do it since 2009.

That's a lot of words to say ... having two 1,000-yard rushers is a very tough thing to do! So it's hard to expect that kind of feat from any group in the NFL. That said, Chubb and Hunt are both Pro Bowl caliber running backs, and both have cleared the 1,000-yard mark in previous seasons with ease. It's just going to come down to opportunities and the distribution of carries. The number that ultimately matters most isn't 1,000 — it's the total rushing yards accumulated by the team. It'd be much better for the team if one of the running backs had 1,400 yards and the other had 900 than if both had an even 1,000.

I see Donovan Peoples-Jones as a field stretcher to do what Antonio Callaway was supposed to do — this year, not just in the future. What think you, Mr. Gribble? — Leon D., Campbellsville, Kentucky

Peoples-Jones certainly has the opportunity to find a niche in Cleveland's wide receivers room. The sixth-round selection and former five-star recruit showed flashes of big-play ability throughout his three seasons at Michigan. More importantly, the Browns have been impressed with Peoples-Jones' makeup off the field. That's been imperative as Peoples-Jones has attacked his new playbook and grasped a number of the different wide receiver positions.

"We thought we were getting a solid person who has the ability to play from a mental standpoint in several positions, which will help him increase his opportunities with us," Browns pass game coordinator/wide receivers coach Chad O'Shea said Wednesday. "Then obviously, the physical skill set was pretty obvious. It jumped out at us as far as where he is physically and the potential that he has to grow even more. Just like the other guys in the program, he has come in, he has really worked hard and he has tried to do what we have asked."

Do you think Wyatt Teller has a hold of the starting guard position opposite Joel Bitonio or is there someone else who will complete the starting five on the O-Line? — David F., Lancaster, Pennsylvania

No one has a hold of that position at the moment, and we won't know who is even in the driver's seat until training camp. Teller understandably is in a decent spot considering the starting experience he gained last season but there will be a handful of others who get a fair shot at the job. That group includes Drew Forbes, who showed a lot of promise as a rookie, Colby Gossett and Willie Wright.

"We have not really set a depth chart, listed a starter or named the RG position," offensive line coach Bill Callahan said in a recent conference call. "That is up for grabs. I really believe we have some excellent players in there … There will be a lot of time for competition. I think that will sort itself out as we move along."

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