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Cleveland Browns 53-Man Roster Projection (Final Version)

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Our final look at which players we believe will make the Browns’ initial 53-man roster.

Erik Drost on Flickr

It is time for my final 53-man roster projection for the Cleveland Browns. General Manager John Dorsey will have to trim the roster from 90 players to 53 players by 4:00 PM ET on Saturday, August 31st. 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
QB
(3)
Baker Mayfield
Drew Stanton
Garrett Gilbert
David Blough
RB
(3)
Nick Chubb
Dontrell Hilliard
D'Ernest Johnson
Trayone Gray
A.J. Ouellette
FB
(1)
Joe Kerridge Orson Charles
WR
(6)
Odell Beckham Jr.
Jarvis Landry
Rashard Higgins
Derrick Willies
Damion Ratley
Braxton Miller
Ishmael Hyman*
Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi*
Dorian Baker
Blake Jackson
Jaelen Strong
TE
(3)
David Njoku
Demetrius Harris
Seth DeValve
Pharaoh Brown
Stephen Carlson
Rico Gathers
OL
(9)
Greg Robinson
Joel Bitonio
JC Tretter
Wyatt Teller
Chris Hubbard
Austin Corbett
Eric Kush
Drew Forbes
Kendall Lamm
Kyle Kalis*
Bryan Witzmann
Brian Fineanganofo
Brad Seaton*
Travis Vornkahl
Willie Wright*
Ka'John Armstrong
DL
(9)
Myles Garrett
Sheldon Richardson
Larry Ogunjobi
Olivier Vernon
Genard Avery
Chris Smith
Devaroe Lawrence
Daniel Ekuale
Chad Thomas
Anthony Zettel
Trevon Coley
Carl Davis
Brian Price*
Jarrell Owens
Brandin Bryant
Wyatt Ray
MLB
(2)
Joe Schobert
Sione Takitaki
OLB
(4)
Christian Kirksey
Mack Wilson
Adarius Taylor
Ray-Ray Armstrong
Willie Harvey*
Anthony Stubbs
Dedrick Young II
S
(5)
Damarious Randall
Morgan Burnett
Jermaine Whitehead
Eric Murray
Sheldrick Redwine
J.T. Hassell
Tigie Sankoh*
Montrel Meander*
CB
(5)
Denzel Ward
Greedy Williams
Terrance Mitchell
T.J. Carrie
Tavierre Thomas
Donnie Lewis Jr.*
Lenzy Pipkins
Robert Jackson
Juston Burris
Jermaine Ponder
Jhavonte Dean
ST
(3)
Austin Seibert
Britton Colquitt
Charley Hughlett
Greg Joseph
Jamie Gillan*

The following players would not count toward the 53-man roster:

  • Injured Reserve: WR D.J. Montgomery, C Lo Falemaka
  • Suspension List: RB Kareem Hunt, WR Antonio Callaway

General Roster Projection Notes

Since the first edition of my list, I removed the following 11 players from my 53-man roster projection:

  • RB Duke Johnson
  • FB Orson Charles
  • WR Antonio Callaway
  • WR Ishmael Hyman
  • OL Kyle Kalis
  • DL Trevon Coley
  • DL Carl Davis
  • DL Brian Price
  • CB Donnie Lewis Jr.
  • CB Phillip Gaines
  • K Greg Joseph

Since the first edition of my list, I added the following 11 players to my 53-man roster projection:

  • RB D’Ernest Johnson
  • FB Joe Kerridge
  • WR Damion Ratley
  • WR Braxton Miller
  • OL Wyatt Teller
  • OL Kendall Lamm
  • DL Devaroe Lawrence
  • DL Daniel Ekuale
  • CB Tavierre Thomas
  • S Jermaine Whitehead
  • K Austin Seibert

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

  • Quarterback: At quarterback, nothing changes: I’m still keeping three guys, although I will say that Drew Stanton does nothing for me and I would make Garrett Gilbert the backup. I think Cleveland could get away with two quarterbacks and someone young on the practice squad, but I think the team will still keep Stanton.
  • Running Back: The Browns traded Duke Johnson to the Texans and Kareem Hunt is suspended for the first 8 games. Dontrell Hilliard will fill much of the role that Johnson would’ve had as a receiving back. D’Ernest Johnson has been the other player showcased, and seems likely to begin the year as the third back, unless someone better is found on waivers. Also, despite being concussed, I made the last-second decision to keep fullback Joe Kerridge due to his Packers roots.
  • Wide Receiver: At the start of camp, Ishmael Hyman was getting first-team reps. He faded during camp, though, and dropped two passes in the final preseason game. With Jaelen Strong already cut, word started spreading that the team is high on last year’s draft pick, Damion Ratley. He earns a spot, as does recent addition Braxton Miller, to at least temporarily hold down a spot until Antonio Callaway comes back from his four-game suspension. I still like Derrick Willies making the club as the fourth receiver.
  • Tight End: For the past few days, I thought about cutting Seth DeValve. I don’t think his stock is very high on this team, but I don’t see an obvious player to replace him, so he sticks around.
  • Offensive Line: There was a lot of shuffling on the offensive line, thanks to the addition of Wyatt Teller via a trade. If we slot him as the starting right guard, does the team just outright cut a guy like Eric Kush now? Or, is there a chance that they waive Austin Corbett? I have the club keeping both, and I also added Kendall Lamm to be the backup tackle at both spots. The injury in the final preseason game to Drew Forbes puts his status in the air — they love him as a developmental player, so it might be an excuse to stash him on injured reserve and open that roster spot up for someone.
  • Defensive Line: I wanted to see an emergence among the backup defensive tackles this preseason, and Devaroe Lawrence stepped up. Daniel Ekuale is another defensive tackle I moved up to the final roster, at the expense of three defensive tackles who I am now waiving: Trevon Coley, Brian Price, and Carl Davis. Coley is a borderline cut among the three, and could make it over Ekuale.
  • Linebacker: There were no changes that I made at linebacker. I feel like this position was entirely set from the get-go of camp, and hasn’t changed. A good mix of veterans and rookies.
  • Cornerback: For special teams reasons, Tavierre Thomas is now on the final roster, replacing Phillip Gaines. I also got rid of rookie Donnie Lewis Jr, but that move is due to my early roster projection of not having Jermaine Whitehead on the club at safety.
  • Safety: See above for my note about Whitehead.
  • Special Teams: It looks like Austin Seibert will make the club over Greg Joseph at kicker. Although Jamie Gillan had a solid preseason as the punter, he wasn’t going to unseat Britton Colquitt.
  • The single asterisks on the cut side represent my projected practice squad, which includes WR Ishmael Hyman, WR Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi, OL Kyle Kalis, OL Brad Seaton, OL Willie Wright, DL Brian Price, LB Willie Harvey, S Tigie Sankoh, S Montrel Meander, CB Donnie Lewis Jr, P Jamie Gillan.
  • 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.