In Part 1 of our tight end preview, we looked at the top three candidates at the position. In Part 2, we look at the other three tight ends: Stephen Carlson, Connor Davis, and Jordan Franks.
4. Stephen Carlson - Backup TE
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 240 lbs | Age: 24
Experience: 4 years | College: Princeton
The Browns signed Stephen Carlson during the 2019 offseason as an undrafted free agent. He finished that season with 5 catches for 51 yards and 1 touchdown. Believe it or not, Carlson made the team as the fourth tight end last year and played in all 16 games, making 2 starts. He finished the season with 1 catch for 11 yards, so the bulk of his contributions came on special teams. That includes one of the biggest spots of the season, when he needed to field an onside kick attempt by the Steelers. He gave Browns fans a heart attack for a second, but ultimately secured it:
Browns fans praising the heavens that Stephen Carlson played catcher in little league at some point pic.twitter.com/TwSsry8idJ— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) January 3, 2021
Connor Davis and Jordan Franks will challenge Carlson for the fourth tight end spot, but Carlson is the strong favorite heading into camp.
Final Roster Odds: 80%
5. Connor Davis - Backup TE
Height: 6-8 | Weight: 271 lbs | Age: 26
Experience: 1 year | College: Stony Brook
The first thing that stands out about Connor Davis is his massive size at 6-8, 271 pounds. During his college days, Davis was a tight end, offensive tackle, and defensive end. As a tight end, he had 6 catches for 41 yards. Defensively, he had 10 tackles and sack.
He originally signed with the New York Giants in 2018 as an undrafted free agent, before having stints in the AAF and XFL. In 2020, he signed with the New York Jets and spent part of the season on their practice squad. Our Jets affiliate did a thorough scouting report on Davis, including video clips of his limited catching and blocking attempts, here. It’s hard to imagine him being relied on as a receiver — being a run blocker down near the goal line seems more up his alley. I don’t anticipate that being enough to score him a roster spot over Carlson, but we’ll see.
Final Roster Odds: 10%
6. Jordan Franks - Backup TE
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 246 lbs | Age: 25
Experience: 2 years | College: UCF
Jordan Franks was originally an undrafted free agent in 2018 who signed with the Cincinnati Bengals. He caught 2 passes for 37 yards as a rookie, and then was on their practice squad in 2019. He did not make the roster in 2020, and had a brief pit stop on the Eagles’ practice squad before Cleveland signed him to their practice squad in mid-October.
Franks is another player who played other positions in the past — wide receiver and linebacker — before going to tight end. Franks and Davis both of their work cut out for them in trying to unseat Carlson. For now, I’m treating them as camp bodies with an outside chance of making the roster.
Final Roster Odds: 10%
Who makes the roster as the Browns’ fourth tight end?
This poll is closed
Plot twist — the Browns only carry three tight ends.