The Cleveland Browns have wrapped up their preseason with a 1-2-1 record. There is some optimism and some concern following those four games. With a roster loaded with additions this offseason, our 53-man projection from Chris Pokorny had some difficult decisions to make.
The roster projection appears to be exactly what should happen. And this is not based on who you like as a player, or what any athlete has done during preseason. Remember, until the Kansas City Chiefs game, almost every offensive and defensive series was backups against backups. When putting together a final roster, you must think about how each player can help your team, how to improve depth, and the ability of each rostered player to be able to come into a live game and be productive while at the same time not become a crutch and give away a win.
In the Andrew Berry/Kevin Stefanski era, they have always kept 10 offensive linemen. A lot of other projections have just kept nine. And guess what? It seems every season all of them become a starter at some point. I am not sold on keeping three tight ends, especially with the minimal production the franchise has gotten out of Harrison Bryant and his not practicing. But if Stefanski feels he needs the blockers, which all three on this list are, then I can go for that.
And kudos for including CB Mike Ford and LB Matthew Adams. A lot of folks don’t realize that Berry brought both to the Browns to shore up the special teams unit. It would not make any sense to bring in a stud special teams coach like Bubba Ventrone, and then not give him any horses.
Several tough choices on this list do exist. For one, D’Anthony Bell over Ronnie Hickman, Jr. especially considering Hickman’s interception success during preseason. In Bell’s play, he has missed contain several games, but his tackling is good. Hickman will make a great tackle and then bounce off a player who continues on but has talent that can be developed. Maybe both are gone after what the final cutdown waiver wire reveals? I do know four safeties is the norm and not five as some media have suggested.
Nick Harris has had some issues getting bullrushed by the other team’s second-team guys, so he is one to watch to see if he makes it and then gets released or traded. And what to do about the RB3? Demetric Felton has value only because of his return ability, which is not great whatsoever.
I expect the Browns to pick up a third QB off the waiver cutdown list, then add him to the practice squad, use him as one of the four protected players, then install him on gameday as the QB3 with the new third quarterback rule established this year.
What are your nitpicks about Pokorny’s roster projection?