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Pre-draft free agency depth chart

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Browns filled lots of needs during free agency

NFC Championship - Minnesota Vikings v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

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.

NFL: Combine
Andrew Berry
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

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

Offense

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

NFL: Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers
Andy Janovich
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Fullback: Andy Janovich

Johnny Stanton

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.

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Atlanta Falcons
Austin Hooper
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

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

Willie Wright

RG: Wyatt Teller

Drew Forbes, Malcolm Pridgeon

LG: Joel Bitonio

Colby Gossett

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Oakland Raiders
Jack Conklin
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

RT: Jack Conklin

Chris Hubbard, Kendall Lamm

LT: Justin McCray

Kendall Lamm

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?

Defense

DE1: Myles Garrett

Chad Thomas, Porter Gustin

DE2: Olivier Vernon

Robert McCray, Justin Zimmer

DT1: Sheldon Richardson

Eli Ankou, Brandin Bryant

Cincinnati Bengals v Los Angeles Chargers
Andrew Billings
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

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

Jermaine Grace

SLB2: Willie Harvey

Trevon Young

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.

Oakland Raiders v Indianapolis Colts
Karl Joseph
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

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

J.T. Hassell

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.

Special Teams

K: Austin Seibert

P: Jamie Gillan

LS: Charley Hughlett

Los Angeles Rams v Atlanta Falcons
JoJo Natson
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

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

Poll

As a Browns’ fan, are you pleased with who GM Andrew Berry has signed in free agency?

This poll is closed

  • 93%
    Absolutely
    (919 votes)
  • 1%
    Nope
    (17 votes)
  • 4%
    This is nonsense. A list of places that I can buy toilet paper would be more useful.
    (43 votes)
979 votes total Vote Now