The Cleveland Browns have just one more preseason game to play before kickoff next month.
They will be hosting the Chicago Bears this Saturday for the final exhibition game.
This final exhibition will help coaches to determine a decision on who is making the team and who will be cut before this fall.
The team has already cut five players to get the roster down to 80 players, which includes:
- P Joseph Charlton
- S Luther Kirk IV
- T Wyatt Miller
- CB Parnell Motley
- TE Marcus Santos-Silva
Soon, the team will need to cut an additional 27 players to get down to the season-ready 53-man roster.
Here are three players to watch in the Browns’ final preseason game who could be fighting for a roster spot:
1. WR Anthony Schwartz
When Anthony Schwartz was drafted by the Browns last year, there was a lot of excitement about the speed he would be bringing to the team.
But as fast as Schwartz has been on paper, he has been slow to develop as a reliable football player.
Last year, he didn’t have much of a presence on the field.
Some might say his most notable play was failing to go up for a ball that would lead to an interception and the infamous Baker Mayfield labrum injury.
Here's the Baker Mayfield interception and subsequent injury.
Seems like Anthony Schwartz gave up on his route, so it ends up being an overthrown INT.
Baker gets in on the tackle, and Justin Reid drove hard right through Mayfield's left shoulder.pic.twitter.com/20MA6sTH2b
— Billy Heyen (@BillyHeyen) September 19, 2021
This year, it seems like he has almost regressed.
So far, he has dropped multiple passes in preseason games and has failed to separate from defenders.
— ً (@CleveIandOhio) August 13, 2022
If Schwartz wants to stay on this team, he will need to make a far bigger impact against the Bears this week.
2. TE Nakia Griffin-Stewart
It’s not the loudest stat line for a couple of preseason games, but Nakia Griffin-Stewart has had a consistent 3 catches in each game for a total of 70 yards.
He has also blocked well, earning a PFF run-blocking grade of 68.8.
Nakia Griffin-Stewart staked his claim for the tight end 3 role on Friday. PFF gave him a 92.9 overall grade including a 68.8 run blocking grade. He also had a really impressive shoestring catch. Having a solid training camp Griffin-Stewart is the TE3 front runner #Browns pic.twitter.com/vdftohGxMG
— Jacob Roach (@roachizm13) August 14, 2022
His consistency could be what the Browns are looking for in TE3.
With David Njoku and Harrison Bryant locked for TE1 and TE2, the browns will need a third player who can come in, hit his marks and make a catch if he needs to.
With another consistent preseason game, Griffin-Stewart could prove he is that guy.
When the Browns play Bears, look to see how well he blocks, if he is able to get separation from linebackers and if he continues to catch passes thrown to him.
3. C Ethan Pocic
With not one, but two centers down for the Browns, Ethan Pocic is becoming a bit more popular.
The #Browns have officially placed starting center Nick Harris and reserve center Dawson Deaton on IR. Both players are out for the season with knee injuries.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) August 16, 2022
With his experience starting for the Seattle Seahawks at center with little news on the Browns re-singing JC Tretter, Pocic might be the team’s center for 2022.
W/ Nick Harris being out for the year, Ethan Pocic is now the starter at Center for the #Browns
1,532 snaps the past two years
-only 4 sacks allowed
-only 2 penalties committed
If you’re worried about footwork watch this reach block at Center
— Mac🦬 (@tha_buffalo) August 16, 2022
It will be important to see how well he holds up, especially if the Bears decide to play any of their starters against him.
If the Browns decide to roll with him for the season, the odds should be in his favor considering he would be playing between two elite guards in Joel Bitonio and Wyatt Teller.
However, if he seems to falter against weaker competition in the final preseason game, the Browns could be in the market for a new center.