Former Tar Heels Offensive Lineman Getting Shot With NFL Team

Former UNC OL William Barnes is working out with the Cleveland Browns
Former UNC OL William Barnes is working out with the Cleveland Browns / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Former North Carolina Tar Heels offensive lineman William Barnes is reportedly working out for the Cleveland Browns on Friday, chasing his NFL dream after going undrafted.

Barnes spent five years with the Tar Heels, starting 22 games and appearing in 49 total. He started 13 of 14 games for UNC last year and has tremendous versatility across the line, having played every position except for center.

Cleveland drafted G Zak Zinter out of Michigan in the third round but otherwise did not spent a draft pick on the offensive line, letting undrafted rookies like Barnes potentially find a spot on the roster.

UNC Tar Heels News: OL William Barnes Working Out With Cleveland Browns

The Browns do not currently have an open place on their 90-man roster, so they'll need to make a corresponding move if they decide to sign Barnes. He graded out poorly during the 2023 campaign but at 6'4", 308 LBs, Barnes has the size to develop into a contributor under the right coaching staff.

With solid athleticism and strength, the underlying tools are there for Barnes if he can harness consistent reps. Cleveland has one of the NFL's best defenses, so he'll get plenty of opportunities against premier opponents during practice if he sticks around longer than the initial workout.

Versatility is becoming more important by the year in the league. Players are frequently injured, especially on the line, so having experience playing multiple positions can give Barnes a edge.

We'll see if Barnes can stick on the roster. Cleveland just finished its optional offseason OTAs (offseason team activities) and holds mandatory minicamp June 11-13.

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