CLEVELAND -- A fifth-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in the 2016 NFL Draft, offensive lineman Spencer Drango finds himself in the thick of a competition for the starting right tackle spot after the departure of Mitchell Schwartz in free agency.
And despite having to make the transition from college to the professional ranks, Drango is making a case for himself to be at the top of the depth chart.
“It’s been going well,” Drango said after a recent practice. “It’s definitely a big learning curve going from the left to the right. Technique is a little bit different, but you just have to get better every day.
“It’s just a great opportunity. I have to take advantage of it. They put me there to make plays, and hopefully, I can step up and make them.”
The 168th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Drango was a two-time All-American lineman and three-time first-team All-Big 12 selection, in addition to being a four-time Academic All-Big 12 choice, as well as the 2015 Big 12 Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year.
Behind Drango’s blocks, the Baylor Bears averaged 48.1 points, 326.7 rushing yards and 289.5 passing yards per game during the 2015 season. The Bears’ offense scored 625 points, rushed for 4,247 yards and passed for another 3,764. Also, Baylor rushed for 41 touchdowns and threw for another 44 last fall.
Projected as a right tackle in the NFL, Drango cleared the way for two 1,000-yard rushers, as Shock Linwood led the Bears with 1,329 yards and 10 touchdowns on 196 carries, while junior running back Johnny Jefferson gained 1,000 and scored eight times in 2015.
“I think of myself as a technician,” Drango said. “Technique right now is a little lacking on the right, so I just have to keep working every day to keep that up. As we go forward, that’s what I pride myself on.
“Other than in the spring, I played two years at right tackle in high school. Everything else has been left, so I just have to overcome those tendencies I have at left and put them on the right side.
“The coaches are always evaluating guys. I think the starting job is always up for grabs until that first regular-season game. Other than that, I think you just have to keep working. Everyone out here is busting their butts trying to get on the 53.”