After trading Kevin Zeitler to the New York Giants, the Browns had an opening at right guard. The presumption by many was that last years 33rd overall pick Austin Corbett would fill that role.
Corbett served as a backup guard through most of the 2018 season, starting one game. The Browns are in their second week of OTA’s, and it was noted by several reporters via social media that Kyle Kalis was the starting right guard again, while Corbett has been the second team center.
Kalis was a standout player at Saint Edward High School in nearby Lakewood, Ohio winning a state championship as a starter in 2010. He then committed to play football at the University of Michigan. Entering the 2017 NFL Draft Kalis went undrafted and signed a contract with the Washington Redskins. He then spent time on the Redskins’ practice squad before being signed to the Colts active roster and starting two games.
Kalis then signed with the Browns’ practice squad after being released by the Redskins after training camp. The Browns then signed him to the 53-man active roster on December 1st.
It is worth noting that Kalis is listed as a center on the Browns website, despite playing guard in college, and in limited time in the NFL.
Freddie Kitchens spoke with the media after practice and he downplayed the situation. The first-year head coach said they have been rotating at the position (meaning Corbett and Kalis) throughout OTA’s. Kitchens also talked about position versatility and how important it is through the rigors and obstacles a team faces during an NFL season.
Certainly, versatility is never a bad thing for a guy in a position like Kalis. The more valuable he can make himself the better chance he finds himself with a roster spot this fall. More than likely Corbett will get the first crack at starting, unless Kalis has a strong showing in training camp and forces his way onto the field.
The opportunity to play for your hometown team is something few athletes get to experience. Adding on top of that the chance to be a starter in that situation is even more rare. Hopefully, Kalis will get to stake a claim to both in 2019.