As the 2022 NFL Draft rapidly approaches, free agency starts to take on a different focus.
Big flashy signings become rarer, replaced by lower salary deals for role players and depth.
Andrew Berry has some work to do filling the Cleveland Browns roster.
Perhaps he plans to find his dominant edge rusher and the rest of the defensive line rotation in the draft.
#Browns Andrew Berry said they believe they have a lot of core pieces on the roster and now they'll spend the next few weeks reviewing the roster and staff to see how they can get better.
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) January 11, 2022
And maybe the wide receiver room will fill up with UDFAs or later draft picks.
Other than that, most roster additions will be thought of as long-shots, camp bodies, or bench players.
But there are 60 players already on the roster, and that means more than a few won’t make the 53-man squad.
Here are 3 Browns players whose stock is down heading into 2022.
1. Sione Takitaki
Cleveland Browns coaches always have nice things to say about Sione Takitaki.
He plays with some speed and is an adequate tackler with good instincts.
But the 3-year veteran saw his playing time decrease significantly in 2021.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) November 22, 2020
Most expect JOK’s playing time to increase now that he has a season under his belt.
Andrew Berry sent Mack Wilson to New England as part of the Winovich trade.
Takitaki’s release or trade would complete the turnover of the linebacker room under the current leadership.
2. Anthony Schwartz
Cleveland’s wide receiver room is still a work in progress.
ANTHONY SCHWARTZ FIRST CAREER TD 🙌 pic.twitter.com/s1ot29wWfk
— PFF CLE Browns (@PFF_Browns) December 26, 2021
Cooks would provide a speedy deep threat who can play the slot or outside.
Jakeem Grant is another speedster who can create problems for defensive secondaries.
Between the two of them, Schwartz’s role diminishes from last year’s rather small contribution.
If Cleveland drafts another speedster, Schwartz could be the first Berry draft pick bumped off the active roster.
3. Drew Forbes
Drew Forbes has yet to play an offensive down for the Cleveland Browns.
And it is beginning to look like he never will.
It was not too long ago that Forbes was expected to battle Wyatt Teller for a starting guard position.
But Forbes landed on the injured reserve for most of his rookie season.
"How you're going to be successful is being as physical as you can to the whistle."
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) May 3, 2019
He was active for 2 games that year, with only 9 special teams snaps to his credit.
Forbes opted out of the 2020 season with Covid concerns and he spent 2021 on injured reserve again.
Cleveland’s roster has a lot of holes, but they have 15 offensive linemen.
And the versatile Blake Hance and Hjalte Frojholdt have a leg up on Forbes for the backup guard positions.