The Browns’ 53-man roster showcases strong continuity on defense, some promising pieces — as well as other areas for possible additions — on offense and a new-look special tandem teams that should serve as an upgrade.
Defensively, the Browns are set to return nine of their 11 starters from a season ago, with only DTs Taven Bryan and Jordan Elliott set to be the new starters among the whole group. 17 of the defense’s 26 total players are returned from last season, when the Browns ended the year with one of the top defenses in the league.
The Browns will open the season offensively with QB Jacoby Brissett, and Joshua Dobbs will be his backup after commanding the offense well and showcasing excellent athleticism in the preseason.
The skill positions on the initial roster include five wide receivers, five running backs and two tight ends. WR Amari Cooper was one of the biggest offseason additions and will be expected to pace the pass game, while TE David Njoku will also step into likely his biggest role yet in the offense as he enters his sixth NFL season and first year of the big contract extension the Browns gave him in June. Third-year vet Harrison Bryant is slotted behind him, and it will be intriguing to see if the Browns choose to add any more players to a room that has usually carried three or more tight ends in Stefanski’s tenure.
The Browns will also continue to boast one of the deepest, most talented running back rooms in the league led by Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Rookie fifth-round pick Jerome Ford also performed well in training camp and joined D’Ernest Johnson as one of the top backups, while Demetric Felton Jr. appears poised for a big role in the receiving game after spending most of preseason practices as a pass catch.
Special teams was one of the top areas the Browns addressed in the offseason with fourth-round rookie pick K Cade York and fifth-year veteran Corey Bojorquez. York was one of the most impressive players of the preseason and displayed an extraordinarily strong leg. Bojorquez. meanwhile, won the team’s punting battle.
The Browns can make additional roster moves in the coming days via waiver claims and free agent signings. They’ll also look to construct a 16-man practice squad, a group of players that play a vital role throughout the season and serve as an additional layer of depth in the event of injuries on the active roster.
Breaking down the Browns’ initial 53-man roster by position:
Quarterbacks (2): Jacoby Brissett, Joshua Dobbs
Running backs (5): Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, D’Ernest Johnson, Jerome Ford, Demetric Felton Jr.
Wide receivers (5): Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Anthony Schwartz, David Bell, Michael Woods II
Tight ends (2): David Njoku, Harrison Bryant
Offensive linemen (10): Jedrick Wills Jr., Jack Conklin, Chris Hubbard, James Hudson III, Wyatt Teller, Joel Bitonio, Michael Dunn, Drew Forbes, Hjalte Froholdt, Ethan Pocic
Defensive linemen (10): Myles Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney, Taven Bryan, Jordan Elliott, Alex Wright, Chase Winovich, Isaac Rochell, Tommy Togiai, Perrion Winfrey, Isaiah Thomas
Linebackers (6): Anthony Walker Jr., Jacob Phillips, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Sione Takitaki, Tony Fields II, Jordan Kunaszyk
Defensive backs (10): Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome II, Greedy Williams, AJ Green, MJ Emerson Jr., John Johnson III, Grant Delpit, Ronnie Harrison Jr., D’Anthony Bell, Richard LeCounte III
Specialists (3): K Cade York, P Corey Bojorquez, LS Charley Hughlett