Updated Browns projected 53-man roster before offseason activities

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The Cleveland Browns have gone through a myriad of changes so far this offseason and are unlikely to be done. However, with Deshaun Watson introduced to the media and awaiting the next destination for Baker Mayfield, the Browns could be in a little bit of a lull when it comes to big roster moves.

The offseason has already been full of them. It started off with a bang trading for Amari Cooper. Watson was the other major addition with Chase Winovich, Taven Bryan and Jakeem Grant helping areas of need.

The team has also had some subtractions including the releases of Jarvis Landry, J.C. Tretter and Austin Hooper. Case Keenum was traded to Buffalo while M.J. Stewart signed with the Houston Texans.

Jadeveon Clowney is the team’s remaining 2021 starter that is a free agent. The team has reportedly had some interest in returns for both Clowney and Landry. Landry had been in discussions to join Watson in Atlanta had he chosen there so a return could be in the works. Clowney posted on Instagram when Cleveland added the big-name quarterback.

While this is highly unlikely to be the team’s final 53-man roster at the end of training camp, it gives a look at where the roster currently sits. With multiple changes since our initial projection, the roster starts to really take shape.

For this iteration, Baker Mayfield will not be included as part of the roster. While it is possible, it is highly unlikely that he returns. With three other quarterbacks added this offseason, we won’t be including a fourth for this roster.

David Njoku and D’Ernest Johnson are included despite neither having signed their tenders nor a long-term deal.

Quarterback - 3

Starter: Deshaun Watson

Depth: Jacoby Brissett, Josh Dobbs

Dobbs is likely to make the initial roster if Watson is suspended but so much is up in the air with that. If not, Dobbs seems like a perfect practice squad quarterback to replace Nick Mullens.

Running Back - 5

(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Starters: Nick Chubb, Johnny Stanton IV

Depth: Kareem Hunt, D’Ernest Johnson, Demetric Felton

No changes here.

Wide Receiver - 5

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Starters: Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones

Depth: Anthony Schwartz, Ja’Marcus Bradley, Jakeem Grant

Somehow, despite adding both Cooper and Grant, this still feels like a big weakness for the team. Bringing back Landry would help but it feels like two additions might be necessary, perhaps both come via the draft.

Tight End - 4

Starters: David Njoku, Harrison Bryant

Depth: Nick Guggemos, Miller Forristall

Another area of concern that seems like it needs another player, perhaps the Browns offense will really only feature one tight end on the field a majority of the time.

Offensive Line - 10

(AP Photo/Kirk Irwin)

Starters: Jedrick Wills, Joel Bitonio, Nick Harris, Wyatt Teller, Jack Conklin

Depth: Chris Hubbard, James Hudson, Blake Hance, Ethan Pocic, Michael Dunn

The addition of Pocic knocks Drew Forbes off the list. Feels like Cleveland will have a chance to flip a backup lineman for a player at another position or a draft pick when roster cuts come.

Defensive End - 3

(AP Photo/David Richard)

Starters: Myles Garrett, Chase Winovich

Depth: Curtis Weaver

This is still all true from our first post:

You read that right, Cleveland only has three defensive ends currently signed to their roster. Even Sheldon Day, who is traditionally a DT but has slid outside, is a free agent.

Defensive Tackle - 3

Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Starters: Taven Bryan, Jordan Elliott

Depth: Tommy Togiai

Again, exactly three guys. Maybe the Browns will invite a lot of runs with 6 defensive backs and three linebackers on the field at all times.

Malik McDowell’s arrest in Florida leaves his future in significant doubt at this time.

Linebacker - 6

[Phil Masturzo/ Beacon Journal]

Starters: Anthony Walker, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah

Depth: Jacob Phillips, Sione Takitaki, Tony Fields II, Willie Harvey Jr.

If three linebackers start, Takitaki has taken on that role. The linebacker spot has some good depth especially if Fields can show some development going into his second year. A healthy Phillips will give the team three rangy players at the position with Walker and JOK.

Cornerback - 6

Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Starters: Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome II, Troy Hill

Depth: Greedy Williams, A.J. Green, Herb Miller

A really good group here but concerns with Ward, Hill and Williams set for free agency after the season.

Safety - 5

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

Starters: John Johnson III, Grant Delpit,

Depth: Ronnie Harrison, Richard LeCounte III, Nate Meadors

With Harrison returning on just a one-year deal, adding another safety, in the draft or free agency, seems likely given LeCounte’s struggles as a rookie and the unknown Meadors.

Special Teams - 3

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Long Snapper: Charley Hughlett

Kicker: Chase McLaughlin

Punter: Corey Bojorquez

Give the team credit for adding a punter and kick returner (Grant) in free agency but not being able to lure a better veteran kicker than the returning McLaughlin is concerning. Hopefully a young kicker coming out is added with a late draft pick or as an undrafted free agent.

Roster Breakdown

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

It is obvious that the team will need to make some moves, especially on the defensive line. That could lead to nine offensive linemen, five linebackers and/or four safeties to at least add a defensive end and defensive tackle. Watson’s suspension would open a roster spot as will a Mayfield trade but carrying a third quarterback is likely due to the possible suspension.

Here is the current breakdown:

QB: 3
RB: 5
WR: 5
TE: 4
OL: 10
DE: 3
DT: 3
LB: 6
CB: 6
S: 5
STs: 3

While the team has a good amount of talent, there are some areas of depth concern including (still) at receiver and tight end on offense along with the defensive line on defense.

Still a lot of work to do for GM Andrew Berry and the front office.

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