Joel Bitonio speaks during a press conference. Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns will start off Joel Bitonio at guard

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There were several pre-draft rumors circulating that the Cleveland Browns would strongly consider drafting star offensive tackle Greg Robinson with the fourth overall pick and kick Mitchell Schwartz inside from right tackle to guard, but that never materialized after Robinson was selected with the second overall pick and the Browns traded down with the Buffalo Bills, receiving a big haul in the process. The Browns did, however, add an offensive tackle with a high second round pick, as they pulled Nevada product Joel Bitonio, who received some first-round buzz due to the lack of depth at OT, the need for OT, his play last season against top pass rushers, and his incredible versatility.

Because Bitonio has the ability to play anywhere on the offensive line, there was plenty of talk following his selection regarding where he will play for the Browns. Will the Browns kick Schwartz inside or simply start Bitonio off as a guard?

Well, Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland tweets that Browns head coach Mike Pettine stated that the team will use Bitonio as a guard to begin his college career. I fully expect him to win a starting job due to his talent, the Browns need at guard, and the high pick the team invested in him. It will be interesting to see if they decide to rotate Schwartz and Bitonio around to find the best fit, but it makes more sense to start Bitonio off at guard. Not only has Schwartz spent more time at tackle, but playing inside will allow Bitonio to adjust to the speed of the game better when he first starts his NFL career.

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Tags: Cleveland Browns Joel Bitonio Mike Pettine Mitchell Schwartz

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