OTAs are underway as the Cleveland Browns begin to get the feel of their new roster.
The voluntary offseason program allows the team to test their rookies and new signings without too much pressure on deciding who will be cut or make the final roster.
But as the training camp and the preseason edge closer, the time will come to make final roster moves.
In some position groups, it will be easier to decide who makes the room, as they have clear starters and role players.
For other groups, it could come down to the wire, as the team still needs to figure out who will start, who will be a role player, and who could be looking for a new team before the start of the season.
1. Who Will Start At Defensive Tackle?
The defensive line has its bonafide starters on the edges in Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett.
As for the interior, however, it is still up in the air.
It seems like almost any name listed at defensive tackle has a chance to start this year.
The team could go with the players who have seen a bit more action around the league, like Sheldon Day and Taven Bryan, who have each played on multiple teams.
They could give developmental guys a shot, like Tommy Togiai and Jordan Elliott, who have each spent less than three years in the league.
There is also the chance rookie Perrion Winfrey could come out swinging and prove he’s worthy of a starting role.
But the Browns specifically employ 2-gapping defensive tackles on run downs.
Taven Bryan, Perrion Winfrey and really Jadeveon Clowney will be utilized to rush inside.
— Pete Smith (@_PeteSmith_) May 24, 2022
The Browns will likely have a mixture of these options and use many of these guys as rotational pieces on the defensive line.
Prediction for who starts: Sheldon Day and Tommy Togiai
2. Who Will Make The Running Back Room?
The Browns have 5 running backs and only 3-4 spots to fill.
The guys who should be locked to make the team are Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, and D’Ernest Johnson.
However, there is speculation the team could trade Hunt or Johnson before the start of the season.
That would create a better chance for rookie Jerome Ford and second-year player, Demetic Felton, to make the team.
Between Felton and Johnson, it’s hard to say who has a better chance.
Felton had some big plays and flashes of talent last year, and he is only in his second year in the league.
Your Demetric Felton Jr. position watch update: It’s running back today at #Browns OTA practice
— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) May 25, 2022
Jerome Ford was just drafted out of Cincinnati and has hardly even had the chance to practice will other Browns players.
It’s hard to see the team moving off either of these young players so quickly.
Given the team likes to be patient with its younger players, it’s more likely they will both find a way onto the roster this spot, and Andrew Berry will find a way to move an older running back.
Prediction: the Browns trade either Hunt or Johnson and will carry 4 running backs like last year.
3. Who Will Make The Wide Receiver Room?
With the departure of Rashard Higgins and Jarvis Landry, the Browns’ wide receiver room looks quite a bit different this year.
Altogether, out of the players that are more likely to make the team, the Browns’ receivers include:
- Amari Cooper
- David Bell
- Donovan Peoples-Jones
- Jakeem Grant Sr.
- Anthony Schwartz
- Isaiah Weston
- Michael Woods II
Amari Cooper, Donavan Peoples-Jones, Jakeem Grant Sr., and David Bell should all be locked to make the team this year.
I keep forgetting that Amari Cooper is on the Browns, which is great because when I remember again, I get excited all over again
— 𝚘𝚑𝚒𝚘’𝚜 𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚢 𝚘𝚠𝚗 (@OHsVeryOwn) May 29, 2022
Cooper and Grant are highly-touted fresh names to the room, Peoples-Jones has proven to be reliable for the Browns, and the team is very high on their new rookie in Bell.
After those four, however, it becomes a little foggier on who will be around for kickoff.
Schwartz is heading into only his second year and will likely be given a better chance to make the team for that reason.
However, he’s coming off an uneventful rookie year and still has a lot to work on, like his routes and ball location.
Woods, who came out of the sixth round like Peoples-Jones, will have a lot to prove.
He has good tools at his disposal but so far nothing has separated him from the rest of the wide receiver room.
Weston is the only undrafted name on this list.
While he does likely have the smallest chance to make the team, he has still proven to have flashes of greatness and his college stats are relatively impressive, despite playing at a smaller school.
He will be given plenty of chances to show his skillset at training camp but is going to have to work harder than any other receiver if he wants to make the team.
Prediction: Amari Cooper, Donavan Peoples-Jones, Jakeem Grant Sr., David Bell, Anthony Schwartz, and Michael Woods II all make the team.
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