Earning their stripes: projecting the Browns 53-man roster

A look at who we think has made the team with 1 preseason game to go

Daryl Ruiter
August 26, 2018 - 3:06 pm
Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson walks away from the team after the completion of minicamp at the Cleveland Browns training facility.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

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Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Two weeks from Sunday, the Browns will kick off the 2018 season against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The next 6 days will be tense for players on the bubble as there are plenty of decisions that still must be made after the preseason finale Thursday night in Detroit.

Here’s a look at who we think have earned their stripes and will make the team.

Receivers (6) – Jarvis Landry, Josh Gordon, Rashard Higgins, Antonio Callaway, Damion Ratley, TBD waiver claim/free agent.

Analysis: Hue Jackson will keep six receivers, but we believe the sixth receiver is not in the building and will be a waiver claim or free agent signing.  

Tight ends (3) – David Njoku, Darren Fells, Seth DeValve.

Analysis: While DeValve has missed the entire preseason and almost all of training camp, he’s proven himself in 2 years and will ultimately make the team.

Offensive line (8) – Joel Bitonio, Austin Corbett, JC Tretter, Kevin Zeitler, Chris Hubbard, Spencer Drango, Desmond Harrison, TBD waiver claim.

Analysis: The Browns better hope the 5 starters play all 16 games. Don’t be shocked if they scan the waiver wire for reserve help and stock the practice squad with extra linemen just in case.

Quarterbacks (3) – Tyrod Taylor, Baker Mayfield, Drew Stanton.

Analysis: No mystery here. Considering the history of the franchise and investment in Mayfield, keeping 3 QBs is not a surprise. The question everybody will be asking is, how long until Jackson plays Mayfield?

Running backs (4) – Carlos Hyde, Nick Chubb, Duke Johnson, Matthew Dayes

Analysis: The backfield is loaded with Hyde, Chubb and Johnson. Dayes makes it as a special teams player. Let’s hope Todd Haley uses them this year.

Fullback (1) – Danny Vitale

Analysis: A calf injury has slowed Vitale late in camp, but his resume is still strong enough to get him on the 53 unless they need another roster spot for a waiver claim.

Defense line (9) – Myles Garrett, Larry Ogunjobi, Trevon Coley, Emmanuel Ogbah, Chris Smith, Caleb Brantley, Carl Nassib, Jamie Meder, Chad Thomas

Analysis: The Browns have some quality depth up front and versatility. Nassib is on the bubble, but we have him making the team and Thomas will make it because he’s a third-round pick.

Linebacker (6) – Christian Kirksey, Joe Schobert, Jamie Collins, Sr., Genard Avery, Mychal Kendricks, James Burgess Jr.

Analysis: Gregg Williams said he has one of the best groups of linebackers he’s had in a decade as it appears that a glaring weakness for years is finally a strength.

Cornerbacks (6) – Denzel Ward, Terrance Mitchell, E.J. Gaines, T.J. Carrie, Mike Jordan, Simeon Thomas.

Safeties (4) – Damarious Randall, Jabrill Peppers, Derrick Kindred, Briean Boddy-Calhoun.

Analysis: Williams has 10 players in the secondary that are athletic and versatile enough to allow him to mix and match coverages at will.

Specialists (3) – Long snapper Charley Hughlett, Kicker Zane Gonzalez, Punter Britton Colquitt.

Analysis: Both kicking jobs remain a toss up and it would be no surprise to see Ross Martin unseat Gonzalez and Justin Vogal, who would be much cheaper, take the job from Colquitt. Because Jackson weighs experience, we went with familiarity and experience with our picks.