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Learn all about the Cleveland Browns’ five players claimed off waivers

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WR Kasen Williams is a member of the Browns now, along with four others.

Minnesota Vikings v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

With the top waiver priority at their disposal, the Cleveland Browns opted to claim five players off waivers on Sunday:

The Browns also cut five players to make room for the additions. Those cuts include WR Rashard Higgins, DL Tyrone Holmes, CB Darius Hillary, CB Marcus Burley, and FS Kai Nacua.

Let’s quickly try to break down what we know about these players, by position:

Wide Receiver

WR Kasen Williams - When Hue Jackson was still with the Bengals, the team tried to sign Kasen Williams (6-1, 219 lbs) as an undrafted free agent. However, he failed a physical and ended up in Seattle instead. He's been a practice squad type player the past two years, but it was believed that he came on strong this preseason, even getting some first-team reps with Seattle's offense.

This preseason, Williams caught 9 passes for 208 yards and 1 touchdown. Here are two catches he had in the preseason finale (clip 1, clip 2). Here is a great one-hand stab he had against CB Xavier Rhodes of the Vikings:

Seahawks CB Richard Sherman was not happy hearing about Williams being cut, replying on Twitter to to the news that “there is no explanation for this!

WR Reggie Davis (6-0, 170 lbs) - An undrafted free agent out of Georgia, Davis was with the Atlanta Falcons this offseason. This preseason, he caught 8 passes for 126 yards. He’s not a name that immediately stuck out on the waiver wire, so we’ll do more digging on why intrigued him to the Browns’ front office.

Update: Davis also returned 4 kickoffs for 89 yards this preseason, so besides his potential at receiver, that is something else they could consider for him.

Quarterback

QB Josh Woodrum (6-2, 231 lbs) - Woodrum entered the NFL in 2016 as an undrafted free agent out of Liberty. He bounced between the Giants, Colts, Bears, and Bills, all on brief stints. In 2017 training camp, as the Ravens were debating whether to sign Colin Kaepernick, they added Woodrum instead.

Woodrum had a solid preseason for Baltimore, completing 25-of-36 passes (69.4%) for 321 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also ran the ball 16 times for 42 yards and 2 touchdowns. His arrival likely means the departure of either QB Cody Kessler or QB Kevin Hogan, though [update: for now, the team has 4 QBs on the roster]. Here’s an example of Woodrum using his wheels during the preseason; many fans wished he had stayed as the team’s backup over QB Ryan Mallett:

The cynic could also say that Cleveland claimed Woodrum to get intel on the Ravens for our Week 2 matchup against them, but I don’t believe teams would do that for their 53-man roster (they probably could’ve had Woodrum on their practice squad).

Defensive Line

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

DT T.Y. McGill (6-0, 310 lbs) - McGill was an undrafted free agent in 2015, first signing with the Seahawks. He then landed with the Indianapolis Colts over the past two seasons as a reserve, but didn't make their roster in 2017.

Cleveland’s depth up front seemed quite good with Danny Shelton, Jamie Meder, Trevon Coley, and Larry Ogunjobi. One has to wonder if Caleb Brantley will be the victim here. One interesting stat is that McGill has 5 sacks in two seasons of limited playing time; he brings the interior pass-rushing skills that someone like Xavier Cooper (released) couldn’t quite master during his time in Cleveland.

Defensive Back

DB Michael Jordan (6-1, 202 lbs) - In a twist that no one saw coming, instead of claiming WR Austin Carr and the name comparisons that could be made to a Cavaliers legend, we got the namesake of our Chicago Bulls rival instead.

Jordan was an undrafted free agent who spent camp last year with the Los Angeles Rams, which provides the obvious ties to Browns defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Jordan was on the team’s practice squad until being called up in November, when he played in 5 games with 2 starts.

Other Notes

  • WR Austin Carr was claimed by the Saints.
  • OL Michael Schofield was claimed by the Chargers.
  • CB Pierre Desir and RB Matt Jones were claimed by the Colts.
  • All the other players we highlighted can go on practice squads now, and went unclaimed.
  • The Browns, Colts, and Jaguars claimed the most players (5), followed by the Jets (4).

Updated 53-Man Roster

Pos Updated Final Roster
QB
(4)
DeShone Kizer
Cody Kessler
Kevin Hogan
Josh Woodrum
RB
(3)
Isaiah Crowell
Duke Johnson
Matthew Dayes
FB
(1)
Danny Vitale
WR
(6)
Kenny Britt
Corey Coleman
Ricardo Louis
Sammie Coates
Kasen Williams
Reggie Davis
TE
(3)
David Njoku
Seth DeValve
Randall Telfer
OL
(10)
Joe Thomas
Joel Bitonio
J.C. Tretter
Kevin Zeitler
Shon Coleman
Spencer Drango
Rod Johnson
Marcus Martin
Austin Reiter
Zach Sterup
DL
(10)
Myles Garrett
Danny Shelton
Emmanuel Ogbah
Carl Nassib
Trevon Coley
Larry Ogunjobi
Jamie Meder
Nate Orchard
Caleb Brantley
T.Y. McGill
MLB
(2)
Joe Schobert
Dominique Alexander
OLB
(3)
Jamie Collins
Christian Kirksey
James Burgess
S
(4)
Jabrill Peppers
Derrick Kindred
Calvin Pryor
Ibraheim Campbell
CB
(4)
Jamar Taylor
Jason McCourty
Briean Boddy-Calhoun
Michael Jordan
ST
(3)
Zane Gonzalez
Britton Colquitt
Charley Hughlett