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Pre-Camp Player Spotlight

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Pre-Camp Player Spotlight: OT Alex Taylor


Training camp is officially underway in Berea, and although it won't include fans packed along the perimeter of the fields or the same schedule it's had in the past, we'll still have position battles and live football action to digest.

We're all excited to see players like Baker Mayfield, Myles Garrett, Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry back in a Browns uniform, but what about players fighting for a chance to wear the orange and brown in Week 1?

Over the next couple weeks, we'll highlight players who are poised to be in the battle for spots on the 53-man roster.

The Player: Alex Taylor

Position: Offensive tackle

Age: 23

Height: 6-8

Weight: 301 lbs

College: South Carolina State

Check out photos of the team working out Tuesday

Before 2020 training camp: Taylor became one of the best draft prospects from an HBCU school last season as a right tackle. He earned First team All-MEAC honors and was a Third Team All-American player. His tape included endless plays of him driving defenders to the ground. Taylor was the only player from an HBCU invited to the 2020 NFL Combine, where he wowed scouts with his nimbleness and led all participants with an 88-inch wingspan. The Browns signed him as an undrafted free agent, and he was likely regarded as one of the best rookie linemen available at the draft's conclusion.

It's worth knowing that…: Taylor originally played basketball at South Carolina State after transferring from Appalachian State, where he redshirted as an offensive tackle his freshman year and barely played as a sophomore. Taylor didn't return to football until his junior year, when Na'Shan Goddard, SC State's offensive line coach, saw Taylor's massive body and wingspan and convinced Taylor to go back to the gridiron.

"I saw the measurements, man," Goddard said in an interview with Josh Kendall of The Athletic. "You don't see guys that large and that athletic at the same time. Hell, that's 3 feet of arm right there. You just punch a guy, you've already got him 2 feet away from your quarterback."

How does he fit? Taylor joins a tackle group that features three players with at least five years in the NFL and a first-round pick. Chris Hubbard and Kendall Lamm, two of the veteran tackles, could see reps at different O-line positions in training camp, but Taylor will have no easy tasks competing against them and Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills Jr., the two tackles in line to start. Taylor, however, is the tallest player on the team and could show enough promise to crack the 53-man roster. His body size is enormous, and some draft analysts believe Taylor has upside similar to an early-round pick — he might just need a few years to show it. His training camp performance will dictate his path to the 53-man roster.