Browns’ 53-Man Roster: Who’s on The Bubble?
The Cleveland Browns have until 4 p.m. Saturday to cut their roster to 53.
Head Coach Hue Jackson and GM John Dorsey will be tasked with ironing out the details of who will be on this team. This is a projection of who the roster will include by Saturday night.
Quarterback: Tyrod Taylor, Baker Mayfield, Drew Stanton.
This is the easy one. The Browns traded for Taylor to be the starting QB. Just this week, it was announced that Mayfield will be the backup. Stanton is here to help develop Mayfield and ease his transition into the NFL. Unfortunately, Hard Knocks highlight Brogan Roback from Eastern Michigan will probably be left without a spot on this team.
Running back: Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson Jr., Nick Chubb.
Another easy one. A name to look out for is fullback Danny Vitale. Due to a lingering calf injury, Vitale might be without a roster spot come Saturday afternoon. He has been inactive for the last two preseason games. Certainly, it appears as if he could be on the bubble in the RB room.
Wide receiver: Jarvis Landry, Josh Gordon, Rashard Higgins, Antonio Callaway, Damion Ratley, Derrick Willies.
The first four openings at WR were virtually filled at the beginning of training camp. Veteran receiver Jeff Janis was the odd-man out here. He has dealt with injuries throughout training camp while Willies has impressed. Mayfield has found a connection with both Ratley and Willies where Janis feels like the outsider here. However, if the Browns bring in Dez Bryant, Willies will probably be gone and Ratley will likely be back on the bubble.
Tight end: David Njoku, Darren Fells, Devon Cajuste.
In the first preseason game against the Jets, Njoku showed signs of being a premier TE with two touchdown catches. He’s an absolute freak of nature. The decision came down to Seth DeValve and Cajuste. DeValve has missed a chunk of time during training camp with an injury, including the last two preseason games. If he can’t get healthy, Hard Knocks star, Cajuste, might take up that final spot at tight end. We’ll have to see if Hue Jackson takes favor to the NFL experience of DeValve of the young excitement of Cajuste.
Offensive line: Joel Bitonio, Austin Corbett, Kevin Zeitler, Spencer Drango, Chris Hubbard, JC Tretter, Austin Reiter, Greg Robinson, Desmond Harrison, Earl Watford
The rookie, Corbett, has started all three preseason games with Bitonio filling the shoes of Joe Thomas at left tackle. The O-line is the Achilles heel of this Browns roster. The team just signed Earl Watford who was cut from the Bears and it’ll leave Shon Coleman without a spot.
Defensive line: Myles Garrett, Emmanuel Ogbah, Larry Ogunjobi, Jamie Meder, Caleb Brantley, Chris Smith, Trevon Coley, Carl Nassib.
Nassib seems to have played his way onto this team, leaving Nate Orchard to get the bump. After an abysmal preseason game against the Bills, Orchard will be on the bubble, fighting and clawing for a spot on this roster.
Linebacker: Jamie Collins Sr., Joe Schobert, Christian Kirksey, Mcyhal Kendricks, Genard Avery, James Burgess Jr., B.J Bello.
Kendricks called Cleveland’s linebacker room more talented than the Super Bowl Philadelphia Eagles’. Why mess that up? These guys can all play and they have all earned a roster spot. Avery, as a rookie, has been very exciting although he will miss time with a hip injury.
Secondary: Denzel Ward, Jabrill Peppers, Terrance Mitchell, Damarious Randall, TJ Carrie, Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Derrick Kindred, E.J. Gaines, Simeon Thomas, Mike Jordan.
Dorsey takes his secondary very seriously so it will be exciting how this one shakes out. Due to NFL experience, Mike Jordan could sneak his way onto the roster but definitely is on the bubble. The rookie, Thomas, could replace Denzel Rice.
Specialists: K Zane Gonzalez, P Britton Colquitt, LS Charley Hughlett.
The battle here was Gonzalez beating out Cleveland native Ross Martin. It’s likely that Gonzalez sealed his roster spot when he made a 54-yard field goal in the preseason game against the Eagles.
This is all speculation, but there’s a lot of validity behind it. Let’s see what Jackson and Dorsey can accomplish!
Nick Pedone, who has spent countless hours pondering this roster, can be reached on his Twitter, @NickPedone12 with any questions.