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2019 NFL Roster Breakdown: Cleveland Browns

Roster Changes


Key additions

RB Kareem Hunt, WR Odell Beckham Jr., TE Demetrius Harris, G Bryan Witzmann, G/C Eric Kush, DE Olivier Vernon, DT Sheldon Richardson, LB Adarius Taylor, S Morgan Burnett, S Eric Murray


Key losses

QB Tyrod Taylor, WR Breshad Perriamn, TE Darren Fells, G Earl Watford, LB Jamie Collins, CB E.J. Gaines


2019 draft class

CB Greedy Williams (2.46), LB Sione Takitaki (3.80), S Sheldrick Redwine (4.119), LB Mack Wilson (5.155), K Austin Seibert (5.170), OT Drew Forbes (6.189), CB Donnie Lewis Jr. (7.221)


Projected Starters



QB: Baker Mayfield
RB: Nick Chubb
WR: Odell Beckham Jr.
WR: Jarvis Landry
WR: Antonio Callaway
TE: David Njoku
LT: Greg Robinson
LG: Joel Bitonio
C: JC Tretter
RG: Austin Corbett
RT: Chris Hubbard



DE: Myles Garrett
DT: Larry Ogunjobi
DT: Sheldon Richardson
DE: Olivier Vernon
OLB: Christian Kirksey
MLB: Joe Schobert
OLB: Genard Avery
CB: Denzel Ward
CB: Greedy Williams
S: Damarious Randall
S: Morgan Burnett


Team Outlook


Notable depth

QB Drew Stanton, RB Kareem Hunt, RB Duke Johnson, WR Rashard Higgins, TE Demetrius Harris, TE Seth DeValve, OT Desmond Harrison, G Bryan Witzmann, G/C Eric Kush, DE Chad Thomas, DE Chris Smith, DE Anthony Zettel, DT Trevon Coley, LB Sione Takitaki, LB Mack Wilson, LB Adarius Taylor, CB Terrance Mitchell, CB T.J. Carrie, S Sheldrick Redwine, S Eric Murray


Biggest strength: Defensive line

Running back is obviously loaded with Nick Chubb atop the depth chart, but I’ll go elsewhere since Kareem Hunt is suspended for the first half of the season. Led by Myles Garrett, the Cleveland front four is about as good as it gets after adding veterans Sheldon Richardson and Olivier Vernon to pair with the young duo of Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi. It will be interesting to see what new defensive coordinator Steve Wilks is able to get out of the group with Gregg Williams now in New York.


Biggest weakness: Offensive line

Last season, the offensive line looked like the strength for the Browns, but I’m not as optimistic this year. Former No. 2 overall pick Greg Robinson signed a one-year, $7-million deal to return as the team’s left tackle, so we’ll see if he can carry over last season’s breakout (in just eight starts) to 2019. If not, both the blindside and right guard could be a weakness with second-year player Austin Corbett stepping in for the traded Kevin Zeitler.


Position battle to watch: Slot cornerback

I would be surprised if Greedy Williams didn’t win the starting job on the outside across from Denzel Ward, but the starter on the inside will likely be a competition between Terrance Mitchell and T.J. Carrie—with a veteran potentially added at some point between now and the start of the regular season. I could also see starting safety Damarious Randall getting increased usage in the slot.


One more thought

The Browns have gone from a zero-win team to a franchise with Super Bowl expectations in a very short amount of time, so things could be pretty volatile for a roster that has plenty of characters. One thing that concerns me in particular is that Baker Mayfield spreads the ball around, which—while a good thing for the offense—might not lead to the kind of numbers Odell Beckham Jr. was used to putting up in New York when he was funneled targets. Things could fall apart quickly if the team starts slow under a rookie head coach with four of their first seven games against 2018 playoff teams (LAR, BAL, SEA, NE) and the other three against playoff hopefuls (TEN, NYJ, SF).


Early over/under: 9 wins (via CBS Sports)

Under. I know the Browns hype train won’t be stopped, but how will they handle the increased expectations? If Cleveland can keep it together into a soft December slate (v CIN, @ ARI, v BAL, @ CIN), I’ll like their chances to get into the playoffs, but I think under is the safer bet.


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