The Cleveland Browns have an incredibly talented roster heading into the 2021 season.
Playing time won’t be easy to come by.
Depth chart battles over the summer will be important and fun to watch for fans.
It’s a tease to some of the competitiveness we’ll see throughout the year.
As the roster changes and additions come to a close before training camp, those position battles are starting to line up.
Here are three guys who have an opportunity to shoot their way up the depth chart this summer.
1. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Linebacker
One of the more intriguing picks from the draft is Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.
The former Notre Dame standout won the Butkus Award in 2020 in addition to being named ACC Defensive Player of the Year.
As a junior in 2019, he was second in the nation in tackles for loss with 14 while also finishing second in sacks with five and a half.
Cleveland selects Notre Dame LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah with the No. 52 pick in the #NFLDraft
Browns defense gonna be scary 😳 pic.twitter.com/VwF1ZYQgWq
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) May 1, 2021
Prior to the draft, NFL teams discovered that JOK had a heart issue, which raised concerns for several teams.
His talent isn’t a concern, however, so the Browns may have gotten one of the steals of the draft.
The Browns play a 4-3 defense, but Joe Woods often deployed a 4-2-5 set last season.
The linebackers were the low point of the defense last season, so there will be some proving to do during preseason.
JOK can certainly make his way up the depth chart if he performs well.
“To me, it felt like we got two first-rounders for sure”, said Joe Woods of JOK and Greg Newsome II, per Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal.
2. Anthony Schwartz, Wide Receiver
The fastest man from the 2021 draft class is out to prove he’s “more than just a speed guy” this year.
At least that’s what he told Browns.com.
The top of the depth chart at wide receiver is well established with Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry.
However, those two have had injuries to deal with in recent history, so additional depth doesn’t hurt.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield has a nice rapport with Rashard Higgins.
KhaDarel and Donovan Peoples-Jones both have experience with the brown and orange under their belt.
None of them are as fast as Schwartz, however, and that’s important.
Speed kills in the NFL.
The Kansas City Chiefs have exemplified that.
Game-changing speed is called that for a reason.
Those huge downfield plays that lead to touchdowns are necessary to win on most Sundays.
Schwartz gives the Browns another one of those downfield weapons.
Anthony Schwartz is faster than you 🔥💨
— PFF College (@PFF_College) April 24, 2021
But as he says, he wants to be more than just a speed guy.
Becoming a technical receiver in the NFL that can shake even the best corners with their routes is easier said than done.
If Schwartz lives up to his own expectations, expect to see him in on more snaps come this fall.
3. Tommy Togiai, Defensive Tackle
The interior of the defensive line could see more movement than the outside.
Myles Garrett and Jadaveon Clowney have the defensive end spots solidified, but inside things are a bit different.
Andrew Billings opted out of a COVID-19 infused 2020 season, so it’s not clear how exactly he’ll look in his return.
Andrew Berry went out and signed Malik Jackson who logged two and a half sacks last season in Philadelphia.
But keep an eye on former Ohio State Buckeye and fourth-round draft pick Tommy Togiai.
Tommy Togiai is staying in Ohio as a Brown! 😌 pic.twitter.com/Qgf6QdvGsL
— Barstool OSU (@BarstoolOSU) May 1, 2021
Togiai wasn’t heavily used in Columbus and slipped under the radar a bit in last year’s shortened collegiate season.
He’s strong, posting 40 reps of 225-pounds on the bench press.
At 6-foot-2 and 300 pounds, he won’t be easy to contain.
A strong summer from Togiai will have him up the depth chart in no time.
NAMVET 72 says
I feel really good about all 3 of those players….no one can catch swartz …