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Browns rookie report: Week 17

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Posted Jan. 04, 2012 @ 4:46 a.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

Here's a look at the contributions of Browns rookies in the Week 17 loss to Pittsburgh:

DE Jabaal Sheard — Sheard finished his first NFL season in fine form, recording another sack and six tackles. Sheard led the Browns this season with 8½ sacks, the second-most by a Cleveland rookie since sacks became an official statistics. Like fellow rookie Phil Taylor, Sheard started all 16 games on the Cleveland defensive line.

DT Phil Taylor — The Browns' first-round pick recorded 59 tackles and four sacks in 2011, showing considerable potential. He made two tackles in Week 17.

WR Greg Little — His season ended quietly, as he caught no passes in the season finale in five targets. Little led the Browns in targets (120), catches (61) and receiving yards (709) in his first season. More consistency is needed from Little, and perhaps that will come in his second season after he sat out football entirely in 2010.

OLG Jason Pinkston — Pinkston, who started all 16 games this season, proved capable of holding down an NFL starting job. He committed only four penalties all season,two of which were declined. It's unclear whether Pinkston will again start at left guard next season — usual starter Eric Steinbach, who missed the season with a back injury, is a well-regarded player. But the Browns at least have a handle on what Pinkston can do.

FB Owen Marecic — Appeared as a reserve in the season finale. The Browns' top lead blocker played in 14 games, starting four. He suffered two concussions.

CB Buster Skrine — Recorded three tackles in Week 17 and broke up a pass. Showed some promise as a defender late in the season. If he continues to improve, the Browns will be that much stronger covering the middle of the field, as slot CB Dimitri Patterson did a very nice job this season in that role.

S Eric Hagg — Notched three tackles and recovered a fumble against the Steelers. The Browns kept all of their draft picks this season, and Hagg, a seventh-rounder from Nebraska, got a chance to show what he could do this season as the Browns move forward with their 2012 preparations.

LB Quinton Spears — Recorded a special-teams tackle against the Steelers, giving him eight special-teams stops on the season. Played in 13 games in 2011, a real nice accomplishment for an undrafted free agent.

CB James Dockery — Inactive in Week 17. Played in 12 games this season, making five special-teams tackles.

TE Jordan Cameron — Made his second career start in Week 17 with the Browns in a two-TE, two-WR, one-RB package. Caught one pass for 15 yards in five targets. A former basketball player at USC, Cameron has potential to develop further.

LS Christian Yount — Finished the season as the Browns' long-snapper after the Browns released Ryan Pontbriand. Played in five games with Cleveland.

DT Kiante Tripp — Inactive in Week 17. Played in three games with the Browns, notching one stop.

OLB Benjamin Jacobs — Played as a reserve, didn't record any statistics. Appeared in five games with Cleveland.

LB Brian Smith — Played in a reserve role, didn't reserve any statistics. Was on the active roster for the final two games of the season.

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