Over the next 48 hours, the Browns and all 30 NFL teams have to reduce the roster down to the mandatory 53-players.
So who will earn their stripes and remain a member of the Browns this weekend. Here is a look at projections by position.
We’ll start with who will be a part of Todd Haley‘s offense.
No surprises here. The Browns traded for Taylor and drafted Mayfield number one overall in the draft. Stanton was brought in as a veteran coach for Mayfield to learn from on the sidelines. The only other quarterback on the roster is undrafted rookie Brogan Roback from Eastern Michigan. Roback had little to no chance of being on the 53-man roster. Roback could be a practice squad option if no other teams claims him off waivers.
Running Backs (4)
Hyde, Johnson and Chubb are locks to make the 53-man roster. Vitale makes my projections despite battling injuries during training camp and the preseason. Vitale may not be used in a typical fullback role as a lead blocker for Hyde, Johnson and Chubb. It doesn’t mean Vitale will see a lot of playing time either. Matthew Dayes could make the roster over Vitale. If Dayes makes the roster, he’ll mostly see action on special teams.
Wide Receivers (6)
The first five on this list were locks. Willies makes the team over veteran Jeff Janis. Willies has been flat out better over Janis and earns the roster spot. C.J. Board might be a surprise roster selection ass well. Things could change if the Browns decide to try and sign free agent Dez Bryant or another receiver cut by another team.
Tight Ends (3)
Njoku and Fells are guaranteed to avoid being cut. The decision comes down to DeValve and Hard Knocks fan favorite Devon Cajuste. Despite missing most of the preseason due to injury, DeValve gets the nod. Cajuste should be a practice squad option. It will provide him time to work on his blocking, something featured in episode four of Hard Knocks.
Offensive Line (9)
The offensive line is still a work in progress. Bitonio has to remain healthy now that he is at left tackle. Zeitler needs to get healthy to solidify the right side of the line in addition to Hubbard. If either or both continue to battle injuries, the offensive line will struggle. Consequently the offense will struggle. The Shon Coleman experiment comes to an end.
The only battle here took place between Gonzalez and a local kid in Ross Martin for the place kicker job. Gonzalez’s 54-yard field goal against the Philadelphia Eagles gave him the leg up and eventually the job.
Now lets switch over to the other side of the football. So who will make Gregg Williams’ defense?
Defensive Line (10)
The Browns need as many defensive lineman as possible. Cleveland has to be better at pressuring the quarterback and stopping the run. The defense looked terrific against the Eagles. Hopefully that performance carries over into the regular season.
The insider trading charges and subsequent release of Mychal Kendricks allows Currie to avoid being cut from the roster. It’s possible that B.J. Bello makes the roster of Currie since inside linebacker is a little think due to the release of Kendricks.
Defensive Backs (9)
The secondary as a whole has to be better. The addition make in free agency and the draft should make that happen.
Scott Piker is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Browns. So follow him on twitter @ScottPikerSport