Cleveland GM Andrew Berry has been a very busy man. The franchise had lots of holes on offense, defense and special teams, and so far Berry has touched on all of them. During the free agency period, the Browns have been one of the most active clubs. ESPN has already rated Cleveland’s signings in the Top 3.
Now, the Browns look quite a bit different – which is a good thing. Weaknesses and quality depth have been Berry’s focus so far. Expect to see a few more new low-cost bodies signed as more depth and for competition for training camp.
So, how has this affected the team’s depth chart? Of course, all of this change somewhat after April’s college draft, but here is an update.
Note: Starters in bold, new players are italicized
QB: Baker Mayfield
Casey Keenum, Garrett Gilbert
Notes: Not only did the Browns sign a solid backup in Keenum, they inked an NFL starting caliber quarterback. Mayfield had his ups-and-downs last year with a porous line, and may settle down this year. If not, the starter is already on the bench.
RB: Nick Chubb
Kareem Hunt, Dontrell Hilliard, D’Ernest Johnson
Fullback: Andy Janovich
Notes: The team placed a second-round tender on Hunt, so he could move on or hopefully will remain. Hilliard had some fumbling issues, but is a good return man. With adding a fullback this year, Chubb should again compete for the league rushing title. Janovich is a former wrestling champion and is a head-banger. He is also a very accomplished runner when given the chance to gain yardage. Gained 265 yards on 42 carries his senior year at Nebraska. Punishing blocker. If the Browns are all-in on developing as a running team, they scored big with this signing.
WR1: Jarvis Landry
WR2: Odell Beckham, Jr.
Damion Ratley, Taywan Taylor, J’Mon Moore, KhaDarel Hodge, D.J. Montgomery
Notes: Two starting positions with two Pro Bowl receivers? Head coach Kevin Stefanski must be thanking the football gods for that. With an improved offensive line, perhaps these receivers will have more time to complete their routes and not have to rely on breaking off patterns. Ratley and Hodge are both good third WR’s. Rashad Higgins could resign, currently an UFA.
TE1: David Njoku
TE2: Austin Hooper
Pharoah Brown, Stephen Carlson
Notes: Stefanski’s offense utilizes quite a bit of two tight end sets, so each player has to stand up on his own merits. Hopefully, Njoku can rebound after an injury-filled 2019. Hooper should shine in this offense, brings a very capable receiver who can gain plenty of yards after the catch and is a zone-buster. Ricky Seals-Jones is an UFA and could resign.
C: J.C. Tretter
RG: Wyatt Teller
Drew Forbes, Malcolm Pridgeon
LG: Joel Bitonio
RT: Jack Conklin
Chris Hubbard, Kendall Lamm
LT: Justin McCray
Notes: Obviously the Conklin signing filled a huge need and he is still a young man. More than likely Forbes and Teller will battle for the starting right guard spot. Bitonio and Tretter have always given dependable effort. Will a draft pick fill the left tackle spot? Currently, Justin McCray is an UFA and could sign elsewhere. Could the club retain Chris Hubbard after all?
DE1: Myles Garrett
Chad Thomas, Porter Gustin
DE2: Olivier Vernon
Robert McCray, Justin Zimmer
DT1: Sheldon Richardson
Eli Ankou, Brandin Bryant
DT2: Larry Ogunjobi
Andrew Billings, Daniel Ekuale
Notes: McCray was signed from the XFL after spending time with the Browns in 2019. Billings will push Ogunjobi for playing time and is a huge man to move around. If Vernon can remain healthy for one season, this unit may become the team’s best. Expect a free agent signing for the defensive end position or a draft pick.
MLB: Sione Takitaki
B.J. Goodson, Tae Davis
WLB: Mack Wilson
SLB2: Willie Harvey
Notes: The Browns no longer have the stability of Joe Schobert and Christian Kirksey. Takitaki will compete with newly-signed Goodson for the middle spot. Goodson was benched while playing for the Giants, then traded and only played one season in Green Bay. Look for the Browns to draft a linebacker as early as the second-round because on paper this is a very weak group. Wilson proved his starter status last year.
LCB: Denzel Ward
Kevin Johnson, Donnie Lewis, Jr., Robert Jackson
RCB: Greedy Williams
Terrance Mitchell, Tavierre Thomas
FS: Andrew Sendejo
Sheldrick Redwine, Montrel Meander
SS: Karl Joseph
Notes: The Browns needed two safeties and signed two safeties. Doubtful Damarious Randall will return even if he does not find a new home. Redwine needs better tackling skills and Meander is a former linebacker. Johnson brings depth and should become the slot or nickel corner.
K: Austin Seibert
P: Jamie Gillan
LS: Charley Hughlett
PR: JoJo Natson
D’Ernest Johnson, Jarvis Landry
KR: JoJo Natson
Dontrell Hilliard, Tavierre Thomas
Notes: Not much has changed here. Gillan was an absolute gem last year and if Seibert can improve his field goal percentage this unit will do well. Natson brings in a proven return man who has rarely fumbled.
Biggest remaining needs: LT, LB
As a Browns’ fan, are you pleased with who GM Andrew Berry has signed in free agency?
This poll is closed
This is nonsense. A list of places that I can buy toilet paper would be more useful.