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Cleveland Browns 53-Man Roster Projection (First Cuts Projection)

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Three preseason games have come and gone for the Cleveland Browns. With the team needing to trim their roster from 90 to 75 players by 4:00 PM ET on Tuesday, September 1st, it is time for me to unveil my second 53-man roster projection of the season. This edition is based on the weeks of training camp reports and performances from the three preseason games.

Pos Final Roster Players Cut
Josh McCown
Johnny Manziel
Connor Shaw
Thaddeus Lewis
Pat Devlin
Isaiah Crowell
Terrence West
Duke Johnson
Shaun Draughn
Glenn Winston*
Jalen Parmele
Timothy Flanders
Malcolm Johnson Luke Lundy
Dwayne Bowe
Andrew Hawkins
Taylor Gabriel
Brian Hartline
Travis Benjamin
Vince Mayle
Terrelle Pryor
Marlon Moore
Josh Lenz*
Shane Wynn
Darius Jennings*
Rodney Smith
Kevin Cone

Gary Barnidge
Jim Dray
E.J. Bibbs
Rob Housler
Anthony Ezeakunne
Kevin Haplea
Joe Thomas
Joel Bitonio
Alex Mack
John Greco
Cameron Erving
Mitchell Schwartz
Andrew McDonald
Michael Bowie
Vinston Painter*
Karim Barton
Eric Olsen
Darrian Miller*
Erle Ladson
Ryan Seymour
Joe Madsen
Desmond Bryant
Phil Taylor
Danny Shelton
John Hughes
Randy Starks
Xavier Cooper
Armonty Bryant
Jamie Meder
Billy Winn
Ishmaa'ily Kitchen
Jacobbi McDaniel
Dylan Wynn*
Christian Tupou
Karlos Dansby
Craig Robertson
Chris Kirksey
Tank Carder
Hayes Pullard*
Moise Fokou
Darius Eubanks
Paul Kruger
Barkevious Mingo
Nate Orchard
Scott Solomon
Everette Brown
Mike Reilly
Donte Whitner
Tashaun Gipson
Jordan Poyer
Ibraheim Campbell
De'Ante Saunders
Landon Feichter*
Brandon Stephens
Micah Pellerin
Joe Haden
Tramon Williams
K'Waun Williams
Pierre Desir
Justin Gilbert
Charles Gaines
Johnson Bademosi
Aaron Ross
Robert Nelson
Kendall James
Joe Rankin
Andy Lee
Carey Spear
Charley Hughlett
Travis Coons

The list above contains 53 players that I kept, and 35 players that I cut. That comes out to 88 players, because TE Randall Telfer and CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu are projected to start the year on injury lists. Players with a strike-through have already been cut over the past month.

General Roster Projection Notes

  • Since the first addition of my list, I removed the following six players from my 53-man roster projection:

    1. TE Rob Housler
    2. OT Michael Bowie
    3. DL Billy Winn
    4. NT Ishmaa'ily Kitchen
    5. K Travis Coons

    All five of the roster moves are tough decisions since they are bubble players.

  • Since the first addition of my list, I added the following six players from my 53-man roster projection:

    1. RB Shaun Draughn
    2. TE E.J. Bibbs
    3. OT Andrew McDonald
    4. DT Jamie Meder
    5. K Carey Spear

    I will explain each of the roster decisions in the positional bullet points below.

  • Quarterback: Unless we hear that Johnny Manziel needs surgery, we're in a day and age where you only need two quarterbacks on the roster if you also have one on the practice squad. If Connor Shaw will likely go on injured reserve, so the Browns will need to bring in a new youngster for the practice squad.

  • Running Back: Seeing Duke Johnson suffer a concussion last night killed me, because now we don't know when he will be back from it. Since we don't know if he'll be ready for the opener, I now have to keep a fourth running back in Shaun Draughn. This might change for my final projection if I hear an update on Johnson's status.

  • Wide Receiver: I thought about a lot of options at this position. Should I remove Vince Mayle? Should I add Terrelle Pryor? Is there still room for Marlon Moore? I think we'll have more clarity on the status of Pryor after the final preseason game, so I decided to defer changes on the wide receiver position until then.

  • Tight End: Everyone has seen the writing on the wall with this one, exchanging E.J. Bibbs and Rob Housler. Even if Housler can catch the ball well, it's not really any better than Gary Barnidge or Jim Dray, and Bibbs has looked very good.

  • Offensive Line: I'm still sticking with seven offensive linemen, subbing out the struggling Michael Bowie and veteran Andrew McDonald. The seventh lineman spot will be a coin flip, ultimately.

  • Defensive Line: This position saw the most dramatic change from my first to second edition. First, I re-classified Armonty Bryant from OLB to DL, which pushed the number of players at the position to nine. That is too many linemen, so I had to decide who was expendable. Billy Winn is still a good player, but he'll have to catch on with another team. I also really like what Jamie Meder has been doing as a backup defensive/nose tackle, enough to where I swapped him in for Ishmaa'ily Kitchen.

  • Linebacker: No changes here. The only possibility would be if Hayes Pullard makes it over Tank Carder, but I think Carder will stick and Pullard will go to the practice squad.

  • Safety: The safety position seems pretty-well locked in.

  • Cornerback: Injuries have run rampant on the cornerback position all of camp, which could complicate the opening day roster if injuries still remain. Charles Gaines has made too much progress over the past few weeks to risk trying to stash him on the practice squad. With Pierre Desir's concussion, you don't know if he'll be available for opening day, which helps a bubble player like Johnson Bademosi make the team for his special teams abilities.

  • Special Teams: I decided to flip Travis Coons and Carey Spear. Spear seems to have been utilized a tad more lately, but both kickers have not made critical mistakes. It's actually one of the surprises of camp, the fact that neither guy has been missing.

  • The single asterisks on the cut side represent my projected practice squad, which includes RB Glenn Winston, WR Darius Jennings, WR Josh Lenz, OL Vinston Painter, OL Darrian Miller, DL Dylan Wynn, ILB Hayes Pullard, S Landon Feichter, and CB Kendall James.

  • If I had to take a wild guess at the 15 moves Cleveland will make to get down to 75 players, it would be the following:

    To Injured Reserve (Projections):
    1. QB Connor Shaw
    2. FB Luke Lundy
    3. OT Michael Bowie
    4. CB Robert Nelson
    5. CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu

    Waived/Terminated (Projections):
    6. RB Timothy Flanders
    7. WR Shane Wynn
    8. TE Anthony Ezeakunne
    9. OL Karim Barton
    10. OL Erle Ladson
    11. DL Jacobbi McDaniel
    12. ILB Moise Fokou
    13. S De'Ante Saunders
    14. CB Joe Rankin
    15. K Travis Coons

Feel free to share your roster projections here, or some changes you would make to mine.