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Browns add lineman, running back on Friday

By MARY KAY CABOT • Apr 27, 2018 at 11:18 PM

CLEVELAND — Browns offensive lineman Austin Corbett, with the No. 33 overall pick out of Nevada, could be the heir apparent to Joe Thomas, so it's only fitting that he has a history with Joel Bitonio.

Corbett, who will work at tackle and guard, was Bitonio's successor at Nevada, starting 49 of his 50 games at left tackle after Bitonio was picked in the second round of the 2014 draft. Two picks later, the Browns selected Georgia running back Nick Chubb, and with the No. 67 pick, after trading down out of No. 64, they tabbed defensive end Chad Thomas out of Miami.

"(Bitonio) was a senior my redshirt year at Nevada,'' Corbett said by phone Friday night shortly after the Browns took him with the first pick in the second round. "As a walk-on, I was just watching him, trying to look at every single thing he did because I knew the type of player he was and the type of person he was.''

Corbett (6-4, 306) knew he had big shoes to fill, but also had the perfect role model.

"I really tried to characterize myself and really idolize Joel,'' he said. "Now, it's going to be crazy to play next to him. He's somebody I've been watching for four years now and everything he's done there in Cleveland. I'm just super excited to be able to get next to him and continue to learn from him."

Corbett has already shown that he's extraordinary. He's currently working on his master's in biology and hopes to become an orthopedic surgeon after football and has the requisite lunch pail mentality.

Browns assistant GM Eliot Wolf acknowledged that Corbett would have more value to the Browns at tackle than guard, where they're heavily invested in Bitonio and Kevin Zeitler. Meanwhile, Shon Coleman is an early candidate to replace Thomas.

"Absolutely,'' said Wolf. "You look at the contracts throughout the league, the tackles are the ones that are getting paid more, getting picked higher, so if Austin's able to be the left tackle, that would be great,'' he said.

Despite starting four years at left tackle, Corbett went to the Senior Bowl and played right tackle at guard.

With the 35th overall pick, the Browns took chiseled Georgia running back Nick Chubb.

Chubb was rated among the top five or six running backs in the draft.

Chubb (5-10, 228) joins a running back room that features free-agent signee Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson. The Browns lost Isaiah Crowell to the Jets in free agency, and Chubb will battle for the featured back role.

Chubb instantly becomes the $16 million pick. The No. 35 pick used on him was acquired from the Texans in the salary-dump deal that also brought quarterback Brock Osweiler and his $16 million paycheck. Osweiler, of course, was cut before the season, meaning the Browns paid for the pick, NBA style.

Lastly, the the Carson Wentz trade just keeps on giving. The Browns traded out of the No. 64 overall pick on Friday night. Indianapolis moved up to acquire the pick.

The Browns received picks No. 67 (third round) and No. 178 (sixth round) in return. The Browns used the No. 67 pick on University of Miami defensive end Chad Thomas.

Thomas started all 13 games on Miami's defensive line 2017 totaling 41 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.

The No. 64 overall pick was, with some gymnastics, a part of the trade that allowed Philadelphia to acquire Carson Wentz back in 2016. It would have been the final pick made in the deal had the Browns stayed and picked a player. Instead, we'll have to wait until at least Saturday to finally have the full return on the trade.

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