One thing we know about GM Andrew Berry is that the Cleveland Browns roster is never set in stone. Berry is regularly looking for ways to improve his team in any way possible. He’s shown that, with mixed results, over his first three seasons at the helm of the team and there is no reason to think that will stop now.
With a variety of moves during NFL free agency, seven selections in the NFL draft and a few undrafted players, the Browns 90-man roster was almost full this morning when we shared it with you. Then Berry re-signed OL Colby Gossett.
With a full roster, figuring out who the Browns will keep for their initial 53-man is difficult. Obviously, injuries, trades and poor play will change things between now and the start of the season but after the draft is a perfect time to share another 53-man roster projection.
Update: Formatting did not render correctly initially. Updated the table with just the 53-man roster projection. We will continue to perfect the formatting throughout the offseason.
Drafted rookies are marked with a * while undrafted players reportedly signed to the team are marked with a ^.
Now on to the projection:
Browns 53-Man Roster Projection
|QB - 3||Deshaun Watson||Josh Dobbs, Dorian Thompson Robinson*|
|RB - 3||Nick Chubb||Jerome Ford, Hassan Hall^|
|WR - 7||Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Elijah Moore||Cedric Tillman*, David Bell, Marquise Goodwin, Jakeem Grant|
|TE - 2||David Njoku||Jordan Akins|
|OT - 4||Jedrick Wills, Jack Conklin||James Hudson, Dawand Jones*|
|Guard - 3||Joel Bitonio, Wyatt Teller||Michael Dunn|
|Center - 2||Ethan Pocic||Luke Wypler*|
|DE - 5||Myles Garrett, Ogbo Okoronkwo||Alex Wright, Isaiah McGuire*, Lonnie Phelps^|
|DT - 5||Dalvin Tomlinson, Siaki Ika*||Trysten Hill, Maurice Hurst, Perrion Winfrey|
|LB - 6||Anthony Walker, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah||Sione Takitaki, Matthew Adams, Jordan Kunaszyk, Mohamoud Diabte^|
|CB - 6||Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome II, Martin Emerson||AJ Green, Mike Ford, Cameron Mitchell*|
|Safety - 4||Juan Thornhill, Grant Delpit||D'Anthony Bell, Tanner McCalister^|
|Kicker - 1||Cade York|
|Punter - 1||Corey Bojorquez|
|LS - 1||Charley Hughlett|
Running Back Notes
Keeping just three running backs to start out doesn’t seem likely but, right now, the team doesn’t really have the type of players worth keeping over another position group. Perhaps a veteran becomes available to take the primary backup role so Jerome Ford can help on special teams if needed as well.
Wide Receiver/Tight End Notes
Keeping just two tight ends goes against what the team’s philosophy has been but, right now, there is more talent at the receiver position. Instead of keeping Harrison Bryant, whose contract jumped up due to playing time, Jakeem Grant Jr. gets kept as the seventh receiver to be the primary return man.
Defensive Line Notes
A pretty big turnover from last year but that is what happens when the system you run changes. Perrion Winfrey’s legal issue change his roster chances but until there is movement with that he remains. Jordan Elliott, like Bryant, saw a salary increase due to playing time which could further hurt his chances of making the roster.
Expecting both Trysten Hill and Maurice Hurst to stay healthy enough to make the roster is unlikely but it is tough to guess which one it is so we have both on our projection.
Between the two Ohio State safeties, Tanner McCalister has more traits that could allow him to back up Juan Thornhill at free safety with D’Anthony Bell the backup strong safety.
Who do you disagree with? Anyone you would pound the table to make the roster that isn’t in bold above?