With OTA’s and Mandatory Mini Camp around the corner, here is a look at how the Browns Depth Chart is shaping up.
Quarterback: Baker Mayfield, Drew Stanton, Garrett Gilbert
Really no surprise here. We finally have our franchise QB and we are going into our first training camp in years without a QB battle. It will be interesting if the Browns plan on bringing in another QB to give Gilbert some competition for the 3rd string spot. Gilbert was the best passer in the AAF and has ties to Baker in that they both went to the same high school.
Running Back: Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt*, Duke Johnson, Dontrell Hilliard
One of our strongest position groups, but also the one with some of the biggest question marks. Will Duke be traded? (From what I’ve heard, Dorsey has been including him in trade discussions for Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy). Will we see the same Kareem Hunt from the past two seasons when he returns from suspension in Week 10? Will the Browns add another back if Johnson is traded to keep Chubb from having too big a workload the first eight games? Is Hilliard more than just a special teams guy?
Wide Receiver: Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Antonio Callaway, Damian Ratley, Jaelen Strong, Derrick Willies
WR has always been our weakest position group, but now it is considered one of our strongest and one of the best in the league. The group has the potential to be lethal in a way we have never seen. Instead of arguing who will lead our team in receiving yards, the argument is who will be our #5 receiver. What a refreshing change of pace.
Tight End: David Njoku, Demetrius Harris, Seth DeValve, Orson Charles
I’m thinking this is the year we finally rid of Seth DeValve. This team is too talented to keep hoping for him to come back healthy. Charles came on strong last year lining up mainly at fullback. And Demetrius was a big signing, in that he is younger and more athletic than Darren Fells. The one thing to watch in this position group is the continued development of David Njoku.
Offensive Line: Greg Robinson, Joel Bitonio, J.C. Tretter, Austin Corbett, Chris Hubbard, Desmond Harrison, Drew Forbes, Eric Kush, Bryan Witzmann, Kendall Lamm
A lot of depth in this group. But also a lot of questions. Will Greg Robinson continue to play LT at a starting caliber level? Will Corbett be a viable replacement for Kevin Zeitler? Is this coaching staff still high on Desmond Harrison, and where does he fit in?
Defensive Line: Myles Garrett, Larry Ogunjobi, Sheldon Richardson, Olivier Vernon, Anthony Zettel, Chris Smith, Brian Price, Trevon Coley, Chad Thomas
This group is highlighted by the starting four, but after that, the talent drop off is big. Chris Smith was a nice versatile piece that could line up anywhere on the D-line last season and Zettel was a nice late season pick-up. Other than that, Coley has been disappointing and we have no idea what Chad Thomas is going to be. Luckily we have a dominant starting four, but look for the Browns to add to this group (Gerald McCoy?)
Linebacker: Christian Kirksey, Joe Schobert, Genard Avery, Adarius Taylor, Mack Wilson, Sione Takitaki, Ray Ray Armstrong
As of now, this is the weakest position group on the team. Avery was a fantastic pick last year, and made an impact, but we have yet to see him in a starting capacity on a week-to-week basis. Schobert is a beast and the leader of our defense. Kirksey is coming off an injury and wasn’t having his best season before he was hurt. Hopefully, we continue to see the development from our LBs and our rookies are able to make an impact in a rotational role.
Secondary: Denzel Ward, Damarious Randall, Morgan Burnett, Terrance Mitchell, Greedy Williams, T.J. Carrie, Sheldrick Redwine, Eric Murray, Donnie Lewis Jr., Jermaine Whitehead
Last year, this group exceeded expectations, led by Ward and Randall. Especially last year with the injuries to the secondary, our back ups were able to come in and play some good football. Terrance Mitchell was having a phenomenal year before his wrist injury. Losing Jabrill doesn’t help, but Burnett has proven to be a starting caliber safety in this league. It’ll be interesting how the new faces come in and if they are able to make an impact in the passing game.
Kicker: Greg Joseph, Austin Seibert
Greg Joseph came in early in the season after kicking disappointments the first few weeks of the season. He started off shaky but ended the year strong. Dorsey and brass seem to think Seibert could be our kicker for years to come with them using a 5th round pick on him.
Punter: Britton Colquit
One of the best in the league, not much more to say about him.
Long Snapper: Charley Hughlett
Again, one of the best in the league.
Kick Returner/Punt Returner: Antonio Callaway, Dontrel Hilliard, Jarvis Landry
An interesting group here. We have no true return specialist on this team. Hopefully, we uncover one in training camp, or maybe Hilliard will come on as our returner. We shall see.
This depth chart has made some huge improvements, but a lot of questions marks. It will be interesting to see how OTA’s and minicamp go. We should find some answers to some of these questions, but all questions won’t be answered until closer to the season.