The Cleveland Browns made some surprise cuts, and have completely overhauled their roster from a last season. Despite the overhaul—a 59 percent turnover rate from last season—the Browns are still one of the youngest teams in the NFL this season. How young? Well, prior to Sunday’s waiver claim announcements they were second-youngest in the league after fielding the youngest roster in the league last season.
New general manager John Dorsey has discarded multiple high draft picks from Sashi Brown’s tenure, and he now takes aim at his final task to complete before the 2018 season kicks off.
Practice squad players can be signed to active rosters, so they’re far from secure, and are essentially bottom of the roster failsafes in the event the Browns suffer significant injuries and need to promote players familiar with their system. The practice squad isn’t totally insignificant, though, as plenty of current pros have made their way to active rosters by excelling when given the chance to continue to work hard for teams in that role.
The Browns confirmed and announced their practice squad on Monday, making this list the official squad, at least for this week. Practice squads change have continual turnover throughout the season, so consider this a Week 1 squad, with much more turnover to come.
2018 Browns Practice Squad:
- WR Da’Mari Scott — The Browns cut Scott on Friday, but he has apparently signed on to stay with the team on their practice squad, per NFL Draft Diamonds.
- OG Kyle Kalis — Kalis was cut by the Washington Redskins this week. The Skins claimed him off waivers last December after he was released by the Colts. Born and raised in Lakewood, Ohio, Kalis was a consensus high school All American at St. Ed’s. If you remember, he initially committed to Ohio State before drawing a ton of heat when he decided to attend hated rival Michigan. Cleveland decided to find a practice squad role for the former Michigan Wolverine guard, per The Sport Capitol’s Ben Standing. Note: Kalis is the only player not confirmed in the league’s transaction report from today.
- RB Dontrell Hilliard — Hilliard was also cut by the Browns this week. However, he did show some juice in preseason, and they decided to keep him to develop further as they are already content with their three active rushers, per the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson.
- DL Daniel Ekuale — Ekuale was injured early in training camp but played well in the time he was able to get on the field. He will be kept on the team’s practice squad, per NFL Draft Diamonds.
- DL Zaycoven Henderson — The Browns also released Zaycoven Henderson this week, but the undrafted rookie decided to stick with the team’s practice squad, per NFL Draft Diamonds.
- OG Christian DiLauro — Of the Browns’ backup linemen in camp, DiLauro figured to be the one who would stick around on the practice squad.
- S Montrel Meander — The 6-foot-2, 214-pounder has two things that make him an ideal developmental player: size and potential. He’s one of three defensive backs the Browns kept on the practice squad.
- TE Pharoah McKever — A big-bodied tight end at 6-6, 227 lbs, he is an undrafted free agent who signed with the Steelers. He caught 3 passes for 17 yards this preseason. One has to wonder if this is one of those signings where the team picks his brain in advance of the Browns’ Week 1 matchup against Pittsburgh.
- CB Jeremiah McKinnon — McKinnon was a surprise cut on Sunday after initially making the team’s 53-man roster. After excelling during training camp and preseason, there’s a strong likelihood he will see get activated and see the field this season.
- LB Brady Sheldon — Sheldon was waived when the Browns trimmed down to 53 players last week. Like McKinnon, Sheldon cleared waivers and the Browns brought him back to continue to work with time in a practice squad role.
- DB Tigie Sankoh — Sankoh is part of the NFL’s International program and does not count against the practice squad’s 10-player limit.