Browns DT John Hughes chases down a quarterback during a preseason game.
Have we gained a little bit of knowledge as to who will fill Phil Taylor's spot in the starting lineup? In the Cleveland Browns' weekly release to the media, third-round pick John Hughes was listed as the team's starting defensive tackle next to veteran Ahtyba Rubin. Where was everyone else positioned in the team's first depth chart of the regular season? Find out after the jump.
- QB: Brandon Weeden, Colt McCoy, Thaddeus Lewis
- RB: Trent Richardson, Montario Hardesty, Brandon Jackson, Chris Ogbonnaya
- FB: Owen Marecic
- WR1: Greg Little, Josh Gordon, Joshua Cribbs
- WR2: Mohamed Massaquoi, Travis Benjamin, Jordan Norwood
- TE: Benjamin Watson, Jordan Cameron, Alex Smith
- LT: Joe Thomas, Oniel Cousins
- LG: Jason Pinkston
- C: Alex Mack, John Greco
- RG: Shawn Lauvao
- RT: Mitchell Schwartz, Ryan Miller
- LDE: Jabaal Sheard, Juqua Parker
- LDT: Ahtyba Rubin, Billy Winn
- RDT: John Hughes, Ishmaa'ily Kitchen
- RDE: Frostee Rucker, Emmanuel Stephens
- SLB: James-Michael Johnson, Tank Carder
- MLB: D'Qwell Jackson, L.J. Fort
- WLB: Kaluka Maiava, Craig Robertson
- LCB: Joe Haden, Buster Skrine, Trevin Wade
- FS: Eric Hagg, Ray Ventrone, Tashaun Gipson
- SS: T.J. Ward, Usama Young
- RCB: Sheldon Brown, Dimitri Patterson, Johnson Bademosi
- P/H: Reggie Hodges
- K: Phil Dawson
- LS: Christian Yount
- KR: Joshua Cribbs, Buster Skrine, Travis Benjamin
- PR: Joshua Cribbs, Travis Benjamin, Jordan Norwood
If you would like to reference last year's opening depth chart, you can do so here.
As I mentioned in the introduction, the "big" news is seeing John Hughes ahead of Billy Winn on the depth chart. I'm not sure how surprising the news is, though, considering the fact that when the Browns released their first preseason depth chart in early August, Hughes was also listed ahead of Winn. In fact, when you look back at that preseason depth chart, you could make a case that Pat Shurmur and company knew all along, with the exception of LB L.J. Fort, which players they planned on carrying on the 53-man roster.
With Scott Fujita suspended, James-Michael Johnson is currently listed at the starting strongside linebacker. We should know more about Johnson's status for Sunday's game when the team's injury report is released on Wednesday. Right now, I would lean more toward Craig Robertson or Fort starting, unless Fujita's suspension is delayed.
Montario Hardesty is still listed as the No. 2 guy ahead of Brandon Jackson. Again, though, teams are not obligated to stick wholeheartedly to their depth chart, and we could end up seeing something different at defensive tackle, outside linebacker, and running back come gameday.