The Cleveland Browns play their final preseason game tonight against the Chicago Bears. This game will go a long way in determining the final 53-man roster for Cleveland. There are a lot of position battles still up for grabs. Some of these battles may be won by rookies. The Browns drafted nine players this past April. However, they did not draft any players until round three. Usually, players drafted in the first or second round are a lock to make the roster and get playing time. Once you get deeper into the draft, it truly becomes a gamble on who will make the team and see time. So, which three Browns rookies will make the most impact in year one?
A Position of Need
The Browns have a few position groups that are looking bleak. One of those groups is the wide receiver corps. The Browns lost Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. That leaves some big shoes to fill for some younger players. Cleveland was be able to trade for Amari Cooper who will easily be WR1 and a good veteran presence in the locker room. After Cooper, comes Donovan Peoples-Jones. He figures to be the opening day WR2. Next comes the tricky part. The Browns have no proven receivers after those two on the roster.
Who could fill the WR3 role? A rookie out of Purdue, who all of us Browns fans are so excited about. David Bell looks to have a great shot at winning the WR3 spot, but he missed some of training camp with injury. He was able to play in the second preseason game against the Eagles, where he looked solid. We have yet to see Bell play with Jacoby Brissett. It will be fun to see tonight who Brissett likes to target most. If the two play together well, we could see David Bell as the opening day WR3.
Kicker of the Future
A position that Browns fans have not seen consistency since the great Phil Dawson, has a new leader. Cade York was the first kicker drafted this year and pretty early too. Drafting a kicker in the 4th round is either going to be a big leap, or it could be an amazing choice. Cade York is the only true kicker on the roster. He isn’t in any sort of battle and all he has to worry about is perfecting his craft. He is easily going to be one of the three Browns rookies who will make the most impact.
Young Rookie Cornerback
There is one position group that the Browns have pretty much locked in. The Cornerback group for the Browns has lately been a position of strength. With Denzel Ward and Greg Newsome II seemingly locked in as the two starting corners, there isn’t much left to question. However, slot corner is a position that is very important in the NFL. After the two locked in starters, there are a few solid players who could earn playing time.
The two Cornerbacks expected to compete for CB3 are Greedy Williams and rookie Martin “MJ” Emerson Jr. MJ was the first draft pick for the Browns this offseason. He was selected as the fourth overall pick in round three. He has a great chance to make a case for that 3rd CB spot. Greedy Williams is a player who was also drafted high, but he has struggled with injury his whole career. I believe that Emerson will win the job and be one of the three Browns rookies who will make the most impact in their first season in the NFL.
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