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Spencer Drango eager to work alongside Joe Thomas, join O-Line room full of personalities

Spencer Drango is looking forward to getting settled in Cleveland, and he's no stranger to the Midwest. The former Baylor tackle was born in Indianapolis and his mom's family hails from the Dayton area.

But the cold winters might take some time getting used to. After all, Northeast Ohio is a long way from Austin, Texas, where the 23-year-old has lived most of his life.

"There's always something to do. The live music scene is unbelievable. And then there's the parks and lakes and anything you would ever want to do," said Drango, who was drafted by the Browns last month in the fifth round. "It's home for me."

Then he paused.

"Hopefully (it's) home away from home," Drango said, pointing to Cleveland.

"This is my home right now."

Indeed, Drango said he's ready to get to work under first-year coach Hue Jackson and a coaching staff that's had Berea buzzing lately. He's equally, if not more, eager to join an offensive line room that includes nine-time Pro Bowler and left tackle Joe Thomas.

"I don't know who wouldn't be excited to go play with a guy like Joe Thomas, his accolades speak for themselves" Drango said Friday.

"I'm really looking forward to getting to play beside him or at the same time from him and learn a lot from him."

And as the Browns enter OTAs this week — a time when the team's 24 rookies (14 draft picks, 10 undrafted free agents) take to the field with veterans for the first time this offseason — he'll have plenty of opportunities to do just that.

The rookies took to FirstEnergy Stadium for the first time.

Drango, a two-time unanimous All-American, the Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year and Outland Trophy finalist, is expected to compete for a starting job on a Browns offensive line in search of a right tackle. Thomas, John Greco and Cameron Erving -- who recently moved over to center -- were starters when the team last took the field, and left guard Joel Bitonio is coming back from an injury-shortened second season.

"I'm flexible to play anywhere, anywhere that can help," said Drango, who played left tackle at Baylor. "I think I can play a lot of different positions. It's just a matter of me getting down and studying and putting in the time so I can get out there and help this team."

That approach should serve Drango well as he finds his footing in an offensive line room full of personalities, Thomas included.

"He likes to have and a good time, he's definitely earned that right," Drango said, laughing. "I guess I shouldn't be that shocked because a lot of offensive linemen on the field are completely different people off so I guess that's on me. I should have expected it more."

That's what Drango likes about playing in the trenches.

"You get a sense of camaraderie and brotherhood. If one person on the O-Line messes up, it's usually not a good play, and so you all have to be connected, you all have to communicate," he said.

"You get pretty close-knit — at least I have in past experiences — so from what I've heard here is we have a good group of guys here."

Drango should fit right in.

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