Part of the Cleveland Browns‘ master plan involves drafting players to eventually populate the whole roster.
Andrew Berry’s one-year veteran contracts will ideally become a distant memory in a few short years.
And they are off to a good start, with every member of the 2020 NFL Draft class in line to start this season.
At least if you include the second tight end and WR-2 as starters in Kevin Stefanski’s offense.
Our 2022 Draft Class❗️ pic.twitter.com/bVUaLmHCH9
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) May 1, 2022
But the second class might break that trend, with a couple of players on the roster bubble.
Berry locked in a handful of key veterans drafted before his tenure.
But beyond those few, players not drafted by the GM’s crack analytical team of scouts might be a little tentative.
Here are 3 Browns players who are unlikely to make the 2022 final roster.
RB D’Ernest Johnson
D’Ernest Johnson was a fan favorite in 2021 and hoped to cash in on his solid performance in a third-wheel role.
But the restricted free agent and his new agent, Drew Rosenhaus, did not receive a better offer from another team.
And now he has to jostle his way back onto the Browns’ 53-man roster.
Cleveland drafted hard-running Jerome Ford out of Cincinnati, a back compared to Kareem Hunt.
D'Ernest Johnson MOVING the chains for Cleveland 🔥
— PFF (@PFF) October 11, 2020
Ford has to learn to block and spot a blitz before he earns a sizeable role in the offense.
But word from Berea is that Demetric Felton will spend the preseason exclusively with the running backs.
Felton is not a big guy and Ford is not a good blocker, which is why Johnny Stanton might stick around.
And each one of those players pushes Johnson further down the depth chart and probably off the final roster.
WR Anthony Schwartz
After giving up on the pass that led to Baker Mayfield‘s injury last year, Schwartz was labeled as “soft” or even afraid.
But something clicked later in the year, and Schwartz almost seemed drawn to contact.
He became a willing and somewhat capable blocker and he registered a couple of solid tackles after turnovers.
About the only thing Schwartz didn’t do was get behind the defense and catch a long touchdown pass.
ANTHONY SCHWARTZ FIRST CAREER TD 🙌 pic.twitter.com/s1ot29wWfk
— PFF CLE Browns (@PFF_Browns) December 26, 2021
But the player who might bump Schwartz off the roster is probably not even signed yet.
If Berry signs a Jarvis Landry-type of slower, slot/possession receiver, Schwartz can win the 6th wide receiver spot.
DT Jordan Elliott
If the 2022 NFL season started this week, Jordan Elliott would be a Browns starting defensive tackle.
But that part of the roster should see some additions and shuffling in the months ahead.
Along with second-year player, Tommy Togiai, Elliott is the closest thing Cleveland has to an interior run stopper.
But like Bryan Taven and fifth-round draft pick Perrion Winfrey, his pass rush got him drafted by the Browns.
— Roberto Shenanigans (@Rob_Shenanigans) August 30, 2021
Entering his third season of NFL weight training, Elliott has to play stronger to control the line.
Slipping through on a pass rush is great, but it leaves the defense vulnerable up the middle.
And in a pitched battle among mostly-even candidates, Elliott could miss the cut for the 4th or 5th interior spot.