Analysis of the Browns Final Roster

Browns Wire – USA Today
CO-WRITTEN BY JAKOB ROSATI AND CHI OKARE

The following information was pulled from clevelandbrowns.com:

Trade 1:

Browns receive:

WR Taywan Taylor

Titans receive:

2020 Undisclosed draft pick

 

Trade 2:

Browns receive:

G Justin McCray

2020 Undisclosed draft pick

Packers receive:

2020 Undisclosed draft pick

 

Contract Terminated:

LB Ray-Ray Armstrong

P Britton Colquitt

DT Carl Davis

T Bryan Witzmann 

 

Waived:

WR Dorian Baker

DT Brandin Bryant

TE Stephen Carlson

TE Seth DeValve

T Brian Fineanganofo

RB Trayone Gray

LB Willie Harvey

S J.T. Hassell 

WR Ishmael Hyman 

CB Robert Jackson

K Greg Joseph 

CB Donnie Lewis Jr.

S Montrel Meander

WR Braxton Miller

RB A.J. Ouellette

DE Jarrell Owens

CB Lenzy Pipkins

DT Brian Price

DE Wyatt Ray

S Tigie Sankoh

T Brad Seaton

WR Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi

LB Anthony Stubbs

T Travis Vornkahl

LB Dedrick Young II

WR Derrick Willies

G Willie Wright

DE Anthony Zettel 

 

Waived/Injured:

G Kyle Kalis (concussion)

FB Joe Kerridge (concussion)

 

Reserve/Injured:

CB Phillip Gaines (concussion)

 

Reserve/Suspended:

WR Antonio Callaway

RB Kareem Hunt

TE Rico Gathers

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Austin Seibert wins the starting kicker job:

Seibert, the kicker out of Oklahoma, beat out last year’s kicker Greg Joseph who was average, to say the least. Seibert played with Baker Mayfield in college and looks to end the kicking woes for Cleveland that essentially cost us a trip to the playoffs last year.

It’s a bit unfortunate for Joseph, as neither he nor Seibert really took over the job in the preseason, but Seibert received all the kicking opportunities in games 3 and 4 of the preseason, going 6/6 against the Bucs and Lions. After that Joseph’s fate was more or less sealed. To be fair, he had every opportunity to take hold of the job as he had the majority of the kicks last year, and it’ll be interesting to see if he can catch on elsewhere. 

 

Punter Jamie Gillan (Scottish Hammer) surprisingly beats out experienced punter Britton Colquitt:

This came as a huge surprise seeing Colquitt has been very strong for Cleveland for the last 3 years. The main reasons for this move seem to be 1) because Gillan (22) is much younger than the 34-year-old Colquitt, while showing potential to be a great punter in the future. (Gillan impressed with a 74-yard punt this preseason against the Colts.) and 2) Gillan is much cheaper right now, which will help the Browns next year when it is time to address signing the new core to their second contracts. 

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Rashard Higgins’ opportunity for a bigger role with Antonio Callaway suspended, while Callaway’s future is in jeopardy:

Callaway was drafted with the baggage of a shaky past and he violated the substance abuse policy this offseason. He is suspended for 4 games which really hurts his chances of gaining a prominent role on an already deep wide receiver core. Higgins and Baker have had a connection since last year’s training camp and it has seemed to mature even further. Look for Higgins to come out of the gates on fire despite two top receivers in Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. 

One of Baker Mayfield’s biggest strengths is his equal-opportunity distribution in the passing game. He is not one to force the ball to one receiver. When he is at his best, he truly scans and finds the best option, no matter who it is. This is evidenced by the fact that of Mayfield’s rookie record 27 touchdown passes last year, they were thrown to 9 different receivers, and no receiver caught more than 4. If Higgins can get open, he will find himself with targets. 

 

Dontrell Hilliard and D’Ernest Johnson also get a major opportunity:

Callaway was supposed to be the main returner for Cleveland heading into the preseason but with his suspension, he loses out on another opportunity. Hilliard and Johnson are the 1 and 2 on the depth chart now on special teams and will get the chance to make a long-lasting impression for this new team.

This could also be a place of potential worry, as these two running backs are currently #2 and #3 on the depth chart behind Nick Chubb, meaning that a potential injury could put these guys, who both have next to no experience, into a difficult position. However, these positions are where some players thrive, so we’ll see what happens in the first 8 weeks before Kareem Hunt returns. 

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The defense is deep:

Across the board, the defense is stacked. There are veterans and young talent scattered at all position groups. Denzel Ward, Damarious Randall, and Myles Garrett will continue their path of dominance, while new faces like Sheldon Richardson and Olivier Vernon look to bring a winning/veteran presence to the team. 

For all the deserved hype the Browns offense is getting, the defense has the potential to be one of the best in the league this year. The front-4 of Garrett, Larry Ogunjobi, Richardson, and Vernon could arguably be the best pass-rushing line in the NFL this year and should allow players like Ward, Randall, and corner Terrance Mitchell to create turnovers on passing downs. 

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No rookies starting for the first time in recent memory:

All rookies are a second string or lower on the depth chart this year. This is good because we saw much promise in players like Mack Wilson, Sione Takitaki, and Greedy Williams in the preseason and they will be guarding 2nd-4th options at times. This just goes to show how deep the Browns roster is and how dangerous they can actually be. Especially the underrated defense.

 

This team should be able to take care of the Tennessee Titans with ease in Week 1. This is probably the most talented Browns roster we have seen since the move to Baltimore. Additionally, once Kareem Hunt and Callaway return, serious contending football is ahead of us.

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