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Thoughts and Jots: The 53-man roster

Things on my mind

NFL: AUG 12 Preseason - Browns at Jaguars
Jerome Ford
Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

1 If you looked at the Browns final roster and went, “Whaaatt......?”, you are not alone. There are surprises and drama at almost every position. Let’s start with the defense because it appears this unit will keep Cleveland in games quite a bit this year, and depending on what the offense is “really” like once they suit up for good, the “D” may be on the field for most of every game.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Jacksonville Jaguars
Isaac Rochell
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

2 Raise your hand if you had Isaac Rochell over Glen Logan or Roderick Perry? Logan was given a lot more money to ink with the Browns yet it was Perry who played well. Logan was pushed aside too many times with runs up the middle. Perry was able to stand his ground more although his total tackles did not reflect this.

NFL: AUG 27 Preseason - Bears at Browns
D’Anthony Bell
Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

3 In DBN editor Chris Pokorny’s prediction he wavered between last year’s fifth rounder Richard LeCounte or this year’s undrafted rookie D’Anthony Bell at safety depth. Heck, why not just keep both is apparently what the coaches thought. These young players are very good on special teams. You will notice Numbers 39 and 37 either making the tackle or around the return man when he is down quite a bit. But I also feel that both will be used in packages where they want another hitter on the field. Do not for one second believe that Bell was out of his league just because he came from a D-2 school. That university went to two National Championship Games in two years winning once. Good players make champions. LeCounte led the defense in tackles against Philly.

4 The Browns are stacked at cornerback and basically kept all the good-to-awesome ones and said meh to the remainder. These five can handle all duties as long as they remain healthy. I would hate to see the rookie Martin Emerson have to start his first year instead of getting some snaps and tutelage all at once.

NFL: AUG 27 Preseason - Bears at Browns
Jordan Kunaszyk
Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

5 Six linebackers is the same as last season. Jordan Kunaszyk had a very good preseason and was a tackling machine in college. Had 15 tackles in the three preseason games. Poor Willie Harvey. He has been cut from the Browns like 40 times already. Practice squad for sure, and has been pulled up numerous times and had defensive snaps.

6 I am certain at least three players will land on the IR-reserve list mainly Jack Conklin, Chase Winovich and Michael Woods. That would open up three spots on the roster for some depth maybe receiver and O-Line with another tackle. Chris Hubbard just could be the Week 1 starter at right tackle - a job he knows real well. Hopefully he won’t get seriously hurt three years in a row. After Hubbard, it is once again Huge Problem #1.

7 Did you scratch your head like I did when I saw the tight end room was reduced to just two warm bodies? And then, the only fullback, Johnny Stanton, was cut as well? I am sure several of these waived will find the Browns practice squad, but two tight ends? On an offense that likes to feature the tight ends? Going to be interesting to see how this offense has evolved because it will not be the same. This alone will tell every fan that. Last year they kept three tight ends plus FB Andy Janovich so it’s quite a swing in schemes. Perhaps the hyphen guys will make the practice squad.

8 I honestly believed the Anthony Schwartz experiment was over. He has elite speed, we all know this. He does not convert that speed to the return game, however. And he has multiple focus drops every game. Let him run the jet sweep? Okay, but the kid has no moves. I just don’t get it. At least Ja’Marcus Bradley and Mike Harley will hang onto the ball when it hits them in the hands. Yes, Cleveland spent a third round pick on Schwartz. Yes, he is one of Andrew Berry’s draftees. Yes, he is taking up a roster spot for someone productive. The Bills just waived WR Tavon Austin who is also a good return man while Jacksonville let go WR Laquan Treadwell.

Chicago Bears v Cleveland Browns
Hjalte Froholdt
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

9 Happy to see 10 offensive lineman make the final roster as was last year. Make a note on this: Ben Petrula will not be added to the practice squad. The dude literally was fooled with a quick first step every time. Slow feet and could not stay engaged. The Drew Forbes situation is kinda annoying at this point. Both Blake Hance and the mammoth David Moore played much better in preseason. Hance is also a center so he had that versatility in his toolbox. Forbes lost his opportunity when he opted out which allowed Wyatt Teller to become the King of Guards. Moore has talent and Hance will always be a fav ever since he introduced himself to Baker Mayfield in the locker room and then was inserted into the game. Happy to see the Dane Hjalte Froholdt make the final 53. He played well in preseason and even played a whole half at center. That alone is what kept his services. My hopes are that the center position is not a ticking timebomb with several injuries away from last season’s fiasco of getting more guys in off the street to play O-Line this year. This is Jedrick Wills year to show improvement or there will be whispers.

10 Five running backs? Five!? Well, I would consider Demetric Felton a receiver instead which needs healthy bodies anyway. This group has three guys who are starting material with a stud in the wings aka Jerome Ford. I smell movement right before the trade deadline. Did I mention the Browns have five running backs?