Browns Sign Rookie Center

According to materials distributed by the Browns this afternoon, the team appears to have signed rookie G/C Ben Claxton.

According to materials distributed by the Browns to the press this afternoon, the team appears to have signed rookie C/G Ben Claxton to the practice squad. Although it does not appear in their transaction listing, the team also appears to have gotten C.J. Jones through waivers and placed him on the practice squad as well.

Ben Claxton is a versatile offensive lineman from Mississippi, who was selected in the fifth round of this year's draft by the Denver Broncos. While he has a reputation as being tenacious and smart, Claxton lacks some of the athletic skills found in a Day 1 choice like Jeff Faine.

Claxton was redshirted as a freshman at Mississippi after injuring his left knee, and later broke his left ankle as a third-year sophomore. His injury fortunes changed, however, and Claxton remained relatively free of injuries and started for Mississippi his junior and senior year, finishing up with an Independence Bowl appearance against Nebraska. Claxton was also presented with the Sportsmanship award at the Senior Bowl last year.

While praised for his intelligence and "nastiness", Claxton is generally regarded to lack some upper body strength compared against top-tier interior linemen. Tony Pauline, however has suggested that Claxton's "football intelligence and tenacity could endear him to a coach's heart". Combine that with his versatility, and it's clear why Butch Davis would be interested.

Here is some additional information on Claxton: Tony Pauline's Scouting Report

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