This morning, we were given an over/under option of 3 players who the Cleveland Browns would try to claim off waivers. We took the over, and it turns out we were right. As first reported by Pro Football Talk, the Browns claimed 5 players off waivers, taking full advantage of their No. 2 spot in the waiver wire priority list.
Browns claimed five: RB George Atkinson, DB Briean Boddy-Calhoun, DB Marcus Burley, DE Tyrone Holmes, LB Corey Lemonier.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) September 4, 2016
Let’s quickly try to break down what we know about these players, by position:
The Browns only claimed one player on offense in RB George Atkinson. Atkinson (6-1, 220 lbs) is a lighting-fast runner who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Raiders in 2014. This preseason for the Oakland Raiders, he had 19 carries for 191 yards (10.1 YPC) and 3 touchdowns, and 6 catches for 60 yards. He also returned 1 kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown.
I know George Atkinson at Notre Dame was a HUGE threat in the kicking game. Has the it factor. Fastest 40 of all time at ND besides rocket.— Browns Chalk Talk (@BrownsChalkTalk) September 4, 2016
In the front seven, the Browns added DE Tyrone Holmes (6-3, 253 lbs) and OLB Corey Lemonier (6-3, 255 lbs). Holmes was a sixth-round pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars this year. He had 3 tackles, 1 sack, 2 quarterback hits, and 1 fumble recovery this preseason. Brent Sobleski of The OBR was really high on Holmes coming out of college, ranking him as a fourth-round prospect.
Tyrone Holmes led FCS with 18 sacks last year, btw. 49.5 TFLS during Montana career. Really liked his potential in this class.— Brent Sobleski (@brentsobleski) September 4, 2016
You can also read a very detailed pre-draft scouting report on Holmes, where he was referred to as “one of the NFL draft's best-kept secrets.”
Tyrone Holmes sack... bih pic.twitter.com/IfKHiOSEFl— Expect10winsBrandon (@Youngbr2002) August 23, 2016
Lemonier was a third-round pick by the San Francisco 49ers back in 2013. He's only started 2 gams in his career and has been a reserve player up until this point. He is probably the most “meh” of the Browns’ five waiver claims.
In the secondary, the Browns added CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun (5-11, 192 lbs) and CB Marcus Burley (5-11, 185 lbs). Boddy-Calhoun was an undrafted free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason. He had 5 tackles and 3 passes defended this preseason.
I like Briean Boddy-Calhoun as a slot guy, nice find for Browns. Plucky as hell kind of corner— Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) September 4, 2016
Burley was an undrafted free agent back in 2013. He bounced around to several teams, but had been with the Seattle Seahawks since 2014. In 2014, he logged 35 tackles, 1 sack, 5 passes defended, and 1 interception. Last year, he had 18 tackles, 1 sack, 2 passes defended, and 1 interception. He brings an experience factor on the back end of the depth chart for the cornerback position.
The Browns led the NFL with 5 waiver claims. The Jets were second with 4 waiver claims. We should know a little later which five players were waived by the Browns to make room for the additions. If I had to guess, I’d say
RB Raheem Mostert , ILB Dominique Alexander , OLB Cam Johnson , S Don Jones , and CB Tracy Howard .
UPDATE: The Browns have announced the five players they cut to make room for their waiver claims.