Much better evening
Their names might not have been atop the Browns’ board entering night two of the National Football League’s draft extravaganza, but rest assured Austin Corbett and Nick Chubb will become well known to Brown fans during the 2018 season.
There is no question that when General Manager John Dorsey made Corbett, a versatile offensive lineman, his first pick to kick off the second round Friday night, many members of Browns Nation blinked and declared, “Who?”
Not so with Chubb, who went two picks later. The bulldozing Georgia running back’s exploits made him a desired target in this year’s lottery. Most followers of college football know all about the rugged 5-11, 227-pounder.
With the likes of Connor Williams, Brian O’Neill, Will Hernandez and Braden Smith still on the board, Dorsey opted for the lesser-known Corbett in hopes he would be in the mix to replace retired left tackle Joe Thomas.
As it turns out, Corbett has a shirt-tail relationship with the Browns. He operated in near anonymity for four seasons with the Wolf Pack after taking over for Joel Bitonio, who was scooped up by Cleveland in the 2014 draft.
Both men are 6-4, 305-pounders, both were drafted by the Browns in the second round and they very well might wind up playing side by side along the offensive line this season.
Corbett, who has played mostly left tackle but has seen action at guard and center, is thought by some to be the heir apparent to Thomas. But that might necessarily be the case by the time the season begins.
The Browns indicate Corbett and Shon Coleman would battle for the starting job initially, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the club eventually plugs Corbett in at left guard and shifts Bitonio, who played the position in college, back to tackle.
Chubb, meanwhile, joins a backfield that includes free-agent signee Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson Jr. and Matthew Dayes, giving the club their best infantry in many seasons.
Many fans hope Dorsey strikes running back gold like he did last season as GM of the Kansas City Chiefs when he drafted Kareem Hunt, who ran for more than 1,300 yards.
Chubb figures to be in the rotation with Hyde, freeing Johnson to do what he does best as a third-down back or flanking out in passing formations. Look for offensive coordinator Todd Haley to take advantage of his versatility.
The selections of Corbett and Chubb – too bad Dorsey didn’t draft the other Chubb Thursday night – provide quality depth at positions that are key to the success of an offense that has stagnated in the two years under head coach/offensive coordinator Hue Jackson.
The GM traded down a few places to gain a third sixth-round selection Saturday to grab defensive end Chad Thomas, ostensibly to help a pass rush that begs for improvement. However, Thomas’ numbers for Miami of Florida do not provide much hope there.
Nevertheless, it was definitely a much better night in the war room for Dorsey and his guys after Thursday night’s puzzling opening salvo.
Final grade for the evening: B