Some argue the team needs another veteran in the wide receiver room and reinforcements at defensive tackle.
So where does that leave the Browns heading into the 2022 season?
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) May 25, 2022
Overall, the Browns roster appears strong at the starting level, with top-level players at most positions.
Familiar faces line up throughout the defense and offense, after 2 years of roster overhauls.
Minicamp and training camp will expose weaknesses, and there will certainly be some late tinkering.
But for now, here are the 3 strongest position groups for the browns heading into the preseason.
D’Ernest Johnson was a huge part of the Browns’ 2021 offense, seamlessly covering for injuries to the starters.
Which makes it kind of awkward to wonder if he has a role with the team in 2022.
With a trio of runners averaging over 5 yards-per-carry, Berry drafted another Hunt-type rusher in Jerome Ford.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 31, 2021
And the team announced Demetric Felton will operate exclusively as a running back in this year’s offense.
Indications are there is a role for the diminutive Felton among the bruisers ahead of him on the depth chart.
If the Browns have to protect Ford by keeping him on the roster, they will probably carry 4 running backs in total.
And that still leaves Berry and Stefanski with the tough choice between Felton and Johnson.
Toward the end of last season, Greedy Williams and AJ Green were hearing the kudos from fans and pundits.
Williams became the cornerback we expected when he was drafted and Green emerged as a bright UDFA find.
And it is entirely possible neither plays more than a rotational backup role in Joe Woods’ 2022 defense.
Derek Carr hits Greedy Williams in stride 🙌pic.twitter.com/FePK3EfCHv
— PFF (@PFF) December 21, 2021
To be sure, Williams is the projected starter until Cleveland’s 3rd round draft pick, Martin Emerson, proves himself.
But more than a few draft scouts and analysts expect the rookie to win such a battle sooner than later.
Williams is a free agent in 2023 and the growth of Emerson, Newsome, and Green could make him a cap casualty.
But for now, the Browns boast 3 top-quality corners and a pair of promising candidates led by Denzel Ward.
Injuries hurt the Browns’ offensive line last year, as evidenced by the number of guards who played tackle.
And even the players who took the field were banged up and bruised.
JC Tretter’s release opens the door for the first of Andrew Berry’s offensive line draft picks to step in.
While the cap savings were obvious, Nick Harris also provides more mobility and speed at the center position.
Browns will be fine with Nick Harris at center. His athletic ability fits perfectly with what they want to do. Played well against Green Bay in his only start last year. pic.twitter.com/GVZ21DzebZ
— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) March 15, 2022
And growing pains, especially in pass-blocking, should be mitigated by Cleveland’s boxed set of All-Pro guards.