Browns GM Heckert confident in right side of O-line

Posted April 21, 2011 @ 6:21 p.m.
Posted By Mike Wilkening

Browns general manager Tom Heckert expressed confidence in the right side of Cleveland's offensive line at his pre-draft press conference Thursday. He reiterated that Tony Pashos, who appeared in six games (three starts) at right tackle in 2010 before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in October, is expected to be the club's starting right tackle.

On Pashos, Heckert noted that "we have all indications that he's going to be fine," according to a transcript of his remarks released by the team. Pashos was limited to just five games with San Francisco in 2009 because of a shoulder injury.

Heckert also said the Browns "like" second-year ORG Shawn Lauvao, who was expected to challenge for a starting role last season before missing time in training camp for personal reasons and later suffering an ankle injury. Lauvao appeared in 10 games last season, starting one.

The Browns could have a much different depth chart at right guard and right tackle in 2011. ORT John St. Clair, who started 10 games a season ago, was released in February. Also, OG-OT Floyd Womack (12 starts at right guard, three starts at right tackle in 2010) and OG Billy Yates (three starts at right guard in '10) are slated to be unrestricted free agents.

The offensive line is not regarded as a pressing draft need for the Browns, whose only two Pro Bowlers in 2010 were linemen: OLT Joe Thomas and C Alex Mack. Bolstering the defensive line and WR corps would seem to take priority over adding to the O-line in the early stages of the draft.