Ex-Nevada offensive tackle Austin Corbett joins an elite club of Nevada alumni being drafted in the second round and above. Corbett joins former Nevada offensive tackle Joel Bitonio on the Cleveland Browns roster. With Cleveland’s loss of All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas to retirement, the Browns had some holes to fill in their offensive line.
Corbett is a prime example of resilience, and lives up to the Jay Norvell-coined term “Nevada Grit.” Corbett was on the wrong end of a great deal of knee injuries during his high school career. Usually early knee injuries tend to plague an athlete for the rest of their short careers, but Corbett made recovery look easy, playing his full senior year in Reno, Nevada. He then walked on to the once led by Brian Polian team in 2013. He redshirted his first season at Nevada, giving him an extra year of playing eligibility. After Bitonio was drafted, Corbett got the nod and started 12 games for Nevada at left tackle. Corbett stayed at left tackle for his Nevada career, earning the right to be named as a captain of the team in 2015.
Like his predecessor, Corbett was never supposed to play left tackle in the NFL, he will more than likely play guard for the Browns. While Corbett was at Nevada, the team aggregated a record of 22-28 over Nevada’s left tackle’s four-year playing career. For every season Corbett played on Nevada’s offensive line the team passed for 2,000-plus yards and a whopping 3,245 under Coach Jay Norvell during his inaugural season. He also helped the team’s running backs reach 2,000-plus yards in every season but the ’17-’18 season, which is due to Norvell’s coaching scheme favoring the throwing game.
In accordance to NFL.com’s draft profile on Corbett, the Nevada tackle has a few weaknesses, the main two being his struggle to maintain body control against quality shed edge defenders and his lack of leg drive and leverage which could cause him to struggle against interior linemen. The first alarming weakness shouldn’t affect Corbett too much because he will more than likely be switching to guard, which would nullify his need to defend against edge rushers. However, his leverage and leg drive will have to be a main focus for the Browns as they head into training camp.
Corbett had a strong combine with a 5.15 40-yard dash, 19 reps on bench press, a 28-inch vertical, 106-inch broad jump, 7.87 second 3 cone drill and a 4.5-second 20 yard shuttle time. Corbett is said to be a quick starter for the Browns, and has bounds of endless potential. Corbett’s versatility as a lineman is what helped improve his draft stock, as he played guard and center at the Senior Bowl, even though he started at left tackle for the majority of his Nevada career.
We’ll see in a few years if Corbett’s high projected potential pans out on an already star studded and gritty Cleveland Browns offensive line.