Half-way through the preseason, it's time to re-evaluate my 53-man roster projection from before the start of training camp. There will be one final roster projection posted shortly after the fourth preseason game. The changes made to this list from the first version are denoted at the bottom of the post.
Summary of the Changes from Last Time
- There is only one small change on offense: instead of going with a fifth receiver (Bobby Engram), I'm going with four tight ends, which means that Robert Royal is now on the left side. Royal has been actively involved in camp and seems to be getting reps ahead of Alex Smith. If we use Evan Moore split wide at times, it might be benficial to carry four tight ends instead of a receiver who won't be used.
- Defensively, there are a lot of changes, so I'll go by position.
Defensive Line: I initially had seven defensive linemen, but I've reduced that to six. I'm projecting that C.J. Mosley will stay on the PUP to begin the season, and that Clifton Geathers will be put on the practice squad if possible. It seems like Derreck Robinson has been getting a fair amount of reps in the preseason and making the most noise of the second stringers, so he takes Geathers' spot. If Shaun Rogers misses a week or two, the team will need a guy like Robinson temporarily.
- Linebacker: Out is David Veikune, and in is Jason Trusnik. These two could swap again depending on how Veikune looks over the next two weeks, but I just can't see us having a guy like him on the bench for a second straight season. At least with Trusnik, Mangini has a guy who has experience spot starting. I thought about Eric Barton over Trusnik, but left Barton on the "cut" side.
Safety: I can't pass up his special teams play, so Ray Ventrone is on the roster now after originally being cut. Another small factor to consider is that Ventrone has WR experience; he could fill in if the Browns are desperate for a fifth wideout in a game. I don't want to cut Larry Asante, but he hasn't made any headlines lately. For now, he's still on the roster.
- Cornerback: I moved Brandon McDonald back to the active roster and swapped him with Coye Francies, who I now think will start the year on the PUP.
- Lastly, on special teams, Reggie Hodges switches spot with the injured Dave Zastudil.
Feel free to leave any comments! For some reason I think I'm forgetting a player's name who should be on the "cut" side. If you think of a name you don't see listed, let me know.