It is time for my final 53-man roster projection for the Cleveland Browns. Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown will have to trim the roster from 83 players to 53 players by 4:00 PM ET on Saturday, September 2nd. This edition is based on the weeks of training camp reports, performances from the four preseason games, and my general instincts.
|Pos||Final Roster||Players Cut|
The following players would not count toward the 53-man roster:
- Injured Reserve: RB Darius Jackson, OL Rod Johnson, OL Matt McCants, OL Chris Barker, MLB Tank Carder, FS Ed Reynolds
- Physically Unable to Perform: CB Howard Wilson
- Suspension List: WR Josh Gordon
General Roster Projection Notes
- Since the second edition of my list, I removed the following eight players from my 53-man roster projection:
QB Brock Osweiler
WR Rashard Higgins
OL Cameron Erving
OL Rod Johnson* (IR)
DE Cam Johnson
DT Caleb Brantley
FS Ed Reynolds
CB Joe Haden
- Since the second edition of my list, I added the following eight players to my 53-man roster projection:
QB Kevin Hogan
WR Jordan Leslie
TE J.P. Holtz
OL Marcus Martin
DL Karter Schult
DL Tyrone Holmes
CB Marcus Burley
K Cody Parkey
I will explain each of the roster decisions in the positional bullet points below.
- Quarterback: After not playing at all the past two games, I gave Brock Osweiler the axe. It’s a quick fall from grace, but Kevin Hogan really stepped up his game the past two weeks and was a real gamer. Once DeShone Kizer became the starter, the value in keeping Osweiler became zero.
- Running Back: This remains unchanged, although Matthew Dayes did leave the last game with an injury. If he might miss any time, then Terrence Magee might temporarily make the roster.
- Wide Receiver: I think the team has really liked Ricardo Louis’ progress all along, so he stays. But good things simply do not happen when Rashard Higgins is targeted, for one reason or another. Jordan Leslie’s stock has risen a little recently, so he takes his spot. I like Rannell Hall to stick, as I had in my second projection. But waiver wire claims will change this position a lot anyway.
- Tight End: I think the Browns want Danny Vitale as their long-term fullback, but he has an ankle injury that might prevent him from playing Week 1. That gives J.P. Holtz a temporary roster spot.
- Offensive Line: Goodbye Cameron Erving (traded already), and hello Marcus Martin. That’ll be short-lived, though, because Cleveland is in desperate need of some depth at tackle. Also, Rod Johnson left with a knee injury, so his roster spot is in jeopardy and I project him going on IR as a stash.
- Defensive Line: We already saw Cam Johnson waived, and now I’m also projecting Caleb Brantley to be cut. His “potential draft stock” means nothing to the coaching staff, and the fact is that Karter Schult has come on and earned a spot and Tyrone Holmes has played like a more complete football player too. Cleveland loves their defensive line depth.
- Linebacker: This remains unchanged.
- Cornerback: With Joe Haden gone, I added Marcus Burley as the fifth cornerback. I already had Darius Hillary making it in my last roster projection, so he stays on.
- Safety: After teasing all preseason that Calvin Pryor would leave at some point, he ends up staying on as an insurance policy for depth. Ed Reynolds is on IR.
- Special Teams: This might be the most puzzling one to fans, but they can keep both kickers on the initial 53-man roster. It’ll buy them an extra day to deliberate or try to swing a trade with someone, and when they are ready to make all their waiver claims, one of the kickers will be in the second round of cuts.
- The single asterisks on the cut side represent my projected practice squad, which includes WR Rashard Higgins, WR Rasheed Bailey, OL Anthony Fabiano, OL Zach Sterup, DL Caleb Brantley, DL Xavier Cooper, S Kai Nacua, DB Trey Caldwell, CB Najee Murray, and CB Channing Stribling.
- Note: I reserve the right to tweak my 53-man projection by noon on Friday. Final roster cuts are due Saturday by 4 PM ET.
Feel free to share your roster projections here, or some changes you would make to mine.