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Browns Final 53 Roster & Depth Chart Projection – Ez Like Sunday Morning 7/16/17

July 16th, 2017 at 3:20 AM
By Sports Media 101


Dominique Alexander Made The Cover Last Year Too

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, I openly speculated about not only who the Cleveland Browns ultimately would keep for the opening day 53 man roster, as well as the depth chart for the entire roster. Some of the predictions were prescient. Others were hilariously off base. As last year, I’ll recap on opening day just how close I got.

Of course, there is the built-in caveat that you don’t know who’s going to available either by waiver or trade. As such, I’m not going for 100% accuracy top to bottom, but I think I’ll be pretty close with the depth chart. Also, must say that this is what I think will happen, not necessarily what I prefer what happens.

Quarterback


From left to right DeShone Kizer (#7), Brock Osweiler #17, & Cody Kessler

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Starter – Cody Kessler

Cod is going to get the nod probably more than anything due to his work ethic and attitude. For a rookie on a 1-15 team, the kid held help decently at times in 2016. I think he has serious durability issues, but if I’m wrong and he’s able to stay on the field, it’s not unrealistic to think he could improve substantially in year 2.

Second String – Brock Osweiler

Just the fact that Brock Lobster will be filling ANY kind of role makes the trade for him that much more of a win for Sashi Brown and the front office. Despite speculation to the contrary, I don’t think he’ll do enough to unseat Kessler. He’ll stand tall and hold the clipboard though and probably see action at some point (in the first half of the first game).

Third String – DeShone Kizer

My druthers would be to start Kizer right now and get his lumps in, but that doesn’t appear to be the direction things are heading in. Thus, he’ll not get very much in the way of reps or meaningful practice, but also will probably (read: definitely) see action at some point this year. Unless things go right.

Running Back


Crow & Duke are both young and talented

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Starter – Isaiah Crowell

Entering a contract year and playing behind a revamped offensive line, this could be a big year for Crow. He’s quietly improved every year of his career, and last season fell just 48 yards shy of a thousand yard campaign. Also caught 40 passes out of the backfield.

Second String/3rd Downs – Duke Johnson

If you are in a PPR league you may want to think about investing a mid round pick on Duke. He caught 61 passes in his 2nd season after hauling in 51 receptions as a rookie. Averaged 4.9 per carry as well and is a pretty great complement to Crow.

FB/H-Back – Dan Vitale

Unheralded pickup last season, didn’t chip in much in the way of carries or receptions, but seemed a steady blocker in situations. That should continue to be his role.

Backup Running Back – Matthew Dayes

Tough call here betweeb Dayes and George Atkinson III. The absence of Darius Jackson opens the door for Dayes, and makes it 10/10 for the drafted rookies making the team.

Wide Receiver


Browns invested a great deal in Corey Coleman; this is a big year for him

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

WR1 – Corey Coleman

Coleman was the first WR taken off the board in the 2016 draft, and like his 1st round counterparts at the position had some injuries which limited his development and productivity (which was already limited due to mostly very poor QB play). In his second game against Baltimore he flashed all the traits we were hoping for when we drafted him. Then someone stepped on his hand and he just never got back to that. Still, I’m not upset with his rookie season; the injury was a fluke and the kid did show that he can play at this level. Let’s hope he can stay on the field.

WR2 – Kenny Britt

I think it’s safe to say most Browns fans are lukewarm at best (and disappointed mostly) in the swapping of Britt and fan favorite (and 2016 leading receiver) Terrelle Pryor. Personally, I’m more than satisfied with the swap, even if I’m rooting for Pryor in Washington. Britt had a career year in ’16, going over 1,000 yards receiving while catching sixty-eight balls. He’s big (6’3) and should complement Coleman quite nicely…if and only if we have anything resembling decent QB play (which of course is no kind of given).

WR3 – Ricardo Louis

Louis didn’t exactly set the world on fire in his rookie campaign, but he did show up – catching 18 passes. He’s got good size (6’2) and speed (4.43 forty) and if he can progress as a player the position absolutely has the goods to burn defenses.

WR4 – Rashard Higgins

Higgins slid pretty far down the draft board before Cleveland plucked him at #172. For his part he snagged 6 balls as a rookie. Much of his making the team is projection of development (as are many depth positions).

Backup WR – Jordan Payton

Honestly, this guy could be washed away by a 90-to-53-day cut, as he had his trouble last year. He caught one pass all year (3 yards).

Backup WR – Ranell Hall

Same scenario as Payton, but Hall might stick because I think he can contribute both as a special teams and also a return man. He’s shown some ability in that regard.

Tight End


I am so very excited to see this young man play for us.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Starter – David Njoku

A first round pick that we traded up for, which caused …

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Tags: Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Britton Colquitt, Caleb Brantley, Cameron Erving, Campbell, Cleveland Browns, Corey Coleman, Danny Shelton, Darius Jackson, Dominique Alexander, Duke Johnson, George Atkinson III, Hue Jackson, Ibraheim Campbell, Isaiah Crowell, Jamie Collins, Joe Haden, Joel Bitonio, John Greco, Johnson, Kenny Britt, Last year, Let’s hope, Matthew Dayes, Mitchell Trubisky, Myles Garrett, Nate Orchard, Patriots, Randall Telfer, Rashard Higgins, Seth DeValve, Shon Coleman, Signed to an extension, Spencer Drango, Tank Carder, Terrelle Pryor, Vote Now, Zane Gonzalez

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