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Cleveland Browns 53-Man Roster Projection

Predicting which players will survive roster cuts and make the Cleveland Browns’ roster to start the 2023 season.

Erik Drost on Flickr

It is time for my 53-man roster projection for the Cleveland Browns. General Manager Andrew Berry will have to trim the roster from 87 players to 53 players by 4:00 PM ET on Tuesday, August 29. This projection is based on the weeks of training camp reports, the preseason games to date, and my general instincts.

Browns 53-Man Roster & Cuts Projection

Pos Final Roster Practice Squad (Cut) Players Cut / IR / Opt-Out
Deshaun Watson
Dorian Thompson-Robinson
Kellen Mond
Nick Chubb
Jerome Ford
Demetric Felton
John Kelly Jordan Wilkins
Hassan Hall
Amari Cooper
Donovan Peoples-Jones
Elijah Moore
Cedric Tillman
David Bell
Austin Watkins
Mike Harley Jr. Marquise Goodwin
Jaelon Darden
Jakeem Grant
Anthony Schwartz
Jalen Wayne
Michael Woods
David Njoku
Jordan Akins
Harrison Bryant
Zaire Mitchell-Paden Miller Forristall
Thomas Greaney
Jedrick Wills
Joel Bitonio
Ethan Pocic
Wyatt Teller
Jack Conklin
James Hudson III
Dawand Jones
Michael Dunn
Nick Harris
Luke Wypler
Tyrone Wheatley Drew Forbes
Colby Gossett
Derrick Kelly
Wes Martin
Myles Garrett
Dalvin Tomlinson
Shelby Harris
Za'Darius Smith
Ogbo Okoronkwo
Jordan Elliott
Siaka Ika
Isaiah McGuire
Maurice Hurst
Alex Wright
Lonnie Phelps
Isaiah Thomas
Tommy Togiai
Trysten Hill
Sam Kamara
Jeremiah Martin
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
Anthony Walker
Sione Takitaki
Matthew Adams
Tony Fields II
Mohamoud Diabate
Jordan Kunaszyk
Cam Bright
Charlie Thomas
Juan Thornhill
Grant Delpit
Rodney McLeod
D'Anthony Bell
Ronnie Hickman
Tanner McCalister
Nate Meadors
Denzel Ward
Greg Newsome
Martin Emerson
Cameron Mitchell
A.J. Green III
Mike Ford
Caleb Biggers Lorenzo Burns
Gavin Heslop
Cade York
Corey Bojorquez
Charley Hughlett

The list above contains 53 players that I kept. Because practice squads are so big (16 players), I have created a specific column for those players too — although I did not fully fill it. Listed below would be just the 53-man roster, if I was correct on everything:

53-Man Roster Depth Chart (Projected)

Position Starter(s) Backup(s)
Position Starter(s) Backup(s)
QB - 2 Deshaun Watson Dorian Thompson Robinson
RB - 3 Nick Chubb Jerome Ford, Demetric Felton
WR - 6 Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Elijah Moore Cedric Tillman, David Bell, Austin Watkins
TE - 3 David Njoku Jordan Akins, Harrison Bryant
OT - 4 Jedrick Wills, Jack Conklin James Hudson, Dawand Jones
Guard - 4 Joel Bitonio, Wyatt Teller Michael Dunn, Nick Harris
Center - 2 Ethan Pocic Luke Wypler
DE - 5 Myles Garrett, Za'Darius Smith Ogbo Okoronkwo, Alex Wright, Isaiah McGuire
DT - 5 Dalvin Tomlinson, Shelby Harris Jordan Elliott, Maurice Hurst, Siaka Ika
LB - 6 Anthony Walker, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Sione Takitaki, Mohamoud Diabate, Matthew Adams, Tony Fields
CB - 6 Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome II, Martin Emerson A.J. Green, Mike Ford, Cameron Mitchell
Safety - 4 Juan Thornhill, Grant Delpit D'Anthony Bell, Rodney McLeod
Kicker - 1 Cade York
Punter - 1 Corey Bojorquez
LS - 1 Charley Hughlett

General Roster Projection Notes

  • The quarterback situation is shaky if Deshaun Watson goes down, but let’s be honest: Kellen Mond wouldn’t be the savior, and by the team trading Josh Dobbs, it means they were ready to roll with Dorian Thompson-Robinson as the backup.
  • Running back was a difficult decision. Nick Chubb is really the only roster spot we are certain about. For much of the season, we know Jerome Ford will be the second running back. He’ll definitely make the roster, but if he is not ready for Week 1, who is making the team to be the backup? And who would be the third running back anyway? I thought John Kelly at the beginning of camp, but Demetric Felton took reps at running back this camp and was shifty. I was thinking of writing him off still, but now with Jakeem Grant’s injury, Felton might be the return man again, and could pull double duty at running back. What about Jordan Wilkins, who has the most experience? Tough to decide, I feel like I’m going thin at running back here.
  • At wide receiver, we’re saying goodbye to Anthony Schwartz. It’s impossible for me to know the health condition of Marquise Goodwin — sometimes you can put them on the roster temporarily, but I don’t think they’ll want to sacrifice too many of those spots when they might already do it with (Alex Wright) as you’ll see later. The biggest question mark here for me is whether Austin Watkins makes it. Everything about his depth chart movement (stuck on second- or third-team) tells me that he wouldn’t be a normal 53-man roster contributor. However, since he was hot this camp, he might require a stash. He could also make it, and then be waived later (to fly under the radar) and then go on the practice squad.
  • Tight end is another tough one because we have no pulse on what the deal is with Harrison Bryant.
  • At offensive line, my biggest decision was deciding between Nick Harris and Luke Wypler. If the team can trade Harris, they probably would, but I don’t think there is any market out there for him. Ultimately, I decided to keep both of them.
  • On the defensive line, I’m using the strategy to keep Alex Wright initially, and then putting him on IR later so that he can return later this season. That would free up a roster spot for a waiver claim, or someone the team cut. Tommy Togiai was a toss-up; with a new defensive coaching change and veterans brought in, I think it’s easy to lose him in the shuffle.
  • At linebacker, I passed on Mohamoud Diabate, but would like him on the practice squad. He had a nice camp, but I think a lot of the buzz came from one strong preseason game. What will out-weigh that is special teams contributions, which is what Matthew Adams, Tony Fields, and Jordan Kunaszyk have to offer. Is that too many linebackers? Maybe — but I don’t know if Anthony Walker and Sione Takitaki are ready to jump into full roles just yet.
  • UPDATE (August 28): Kunaszyk reportedly has a torn MCL, so I am putting Diabate on the roster now.
  • At safety, I’m trying not to buy into Ronnie Hickman just because of his interception numbers in preseason games. I think the team still likes D’Anthony Bell, and we also have to remember that just because you waive a guy like Hickman, it doesn’t mean 31 other teams are going to be dying to claim him for their 53-man roster. Put him on the practice squad.
  • At cornerback, after the first three corners, I don’t know if we learned a lot about this team’s depth. Cameron Mitchell makes it because he’s a draft pick, but is A.J. Green still valued as the fourth cornerback? And does Mike Ford still have a spot for his special teams contributors and experience?
  • Cade York. Ugh. At the very least, he can make the 53-man roster initially, because there was no other kicker in camp. But we will see during the week how other team’s roster cuts are, and whether the Browns try to sign or claim a different kicker.
  • Note: I have the option to update my 53-man projection if injury-related or other news comes out today, as far as counting my accuracy goes. I always try to aim for at least 49/53!

What Do You Think?

Feel free to share your roster projections here, or some changes you would make to mine.