Among the top items on the Browns’ offseason to-do list was to improve their offensive line. Check. Check. And check.
They hired one of the league’s best offensive line coaches in Bill Callahan. They signed right tackle Jack Conklin to a three-year, $42 million contract, and they drafted Jedrick Wills with the 10th overall choice to play left tackle.
Conklin, the eighth overall choice of the Titans in the 2016 draft, perfectly fit the outside zone blocking scheme the Browns will run under Kevin Stefanski.
“I really like Jack,” Callahan said last week, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “I watched him coming out of Michigan State. I thought he was outstanding there, and what he has done at Tennessee, early in his career, I know he had some misfortune with injury, but last year, he really came on. He had a really good year.
“You talk about a system fit. You couldn’t get a more perfect tackle in free agency than Jack. He fits the mode for the wide zone game and his pass protection sets, how he short sets and he jumps at the line of scrimmage, which is a tough skill to acquire. Then, of course, in third down and later downs, you can watch him set vertically, and you can see his variance of sets. He has the toolbox, and he has the skill set to do quite well. What I really like about Jack is he’s a player that’s really thirsty for new techniques and new ways of doing things. He’s wide open from that aspect. I’m really looking forward to digging down in the trenches with him and seeing how we can tweak some things and help his game.”
Conklin, 25, made All-Pro as a rookie. He started 57 of a possible 64 games in Tennessee, missing seven games in 2018 with knee injuries.
Conklin tore an anterior cruicate ligament in the first half of a divisional loss to the Patriots in the 2017 postseason.