In an effort to revamp their offensive line amid losing the top-tier lineman, the Browns selected Shon Coleman in the third round, as well as Baylor offensive tackle Spencer Drango in this years draft.
With nine-time pro bowler Joe Thomas plugged in at left tackle, Joel Bitonio at left guard and John Greco at right guard, the center and right tackle positions (previously held by Mack and Schwartz) are open for competition. The 2015 first-round selection, Cam Erving, will more than likely return to his natural position at center after filling in at right guard in his rookie campaign.
Although Austin Pasztor is currently expected to start at right tackle, there has been speculation Coleman could eventually be inserted into the right tackle position, although it all depends on how healthy the former Tiger can stay.
The third-rounder underwent MCL surgery in January to repair a slight tear to his right knee. Coleman suffered the injury back in November, although only sat out the following week before returning to the field. Browns head coach Hue Jackson spoke regarding the process it will take to get Coleman prepared and healthy for his rookie season.
“…We are going to really take it slow, and we are going to get him where we need to be before we put him out there,” said Jackson. “He is working hard. You saw him out there doing things. We are always, with anybody who is injured or who have had an injury, we’ll take it a little bit easier with them to get them where they need to be. As you’ve seen, it’s competitive out there. You want to make sure a guy is ready before you put him out there.”
No stranger to adversity Shon Coleman has the motivation to battle for a spot. In fact, the Cleveland Browns rookie is a reminder that football players can sometimes be an example for millions who contemplate giving up on their dreams.
Prior to being drafted by the Browns, playing in the NFL seemed nearly improbable to Coleman.
In 2010, the Auburn offensive lineman was diagnosed with leukemia. He spent the next 30 months at Memphis’ St. Jude Children’s Hospital receiving treatment and undergoing chemotherapy.
Fast forward to September 9, 2013 and Colemans’ first collegiate snap with Auburn. Shon would go on to start all 25 games over the course of his final two seasons even receiving second team All-SEC honors in 2015. Having established himself as a legitimate NFL prospect, Coleman, 24, decided to forego his final season of eligibility and declare for the Draft.
Most players that expect to hear their name draft week tend to surround themselves with loved ones. Coleman chose to spend his at St. Jude Children’s Hospital surrounded by current patients fighting a similar battle to the one he did years ago.
“It was big-time for me to go back and reach out to kids and let kids see that moment,”Coleman said. “That’s big in their lives, and to just let them know that they can always chase their dreams.”
Whether or not the Cleveland Browns will start Coleman in the 2016 NFL season remains to be seen, but it’s difficult to underestimate the big fellas’ ambition and work ethic. Coleman looks to once again, prove his doubters wrong and flourish with his opportunity.
Despite the hardships Coleman has been faced with, he believes it all made him a better football player at the end of the day.
“Now I don’t take life for granted. It can get taken away from you as quick as that. I got another opportunity to play football again, I just took on the opportunity and did a great job with it the past couple years.”
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