Cleveland Browns Final 53 Projection – HFS CLE

HFS Cleveland Final 53

By Adam Bennett, @HFSCleveland

As the Browns’ brass struggles to get the roster to 53, here’s my two cents on who earned a spot and who should be cut after the 2015 preseason:

Johnny Manziel has toned it down this preseason (Andrew Weber – USA TODAY Sports)

Johnny Manziel has toned it down this preseason (Andrew Weber – USA TODAY Sports)

 QUARTERBACK (3)

Josh McCown

Johnny Manziel

Thad Lewis

CUT: Pat Devlin

Analysis: Lewis makes the team because of Manziel’s shaky elbow. If Manziel were 100% healthy, I think Pettine and Co. would stick with two. But Lewis is an experienced backup who needs to stick around for when McCown or Manziel will inevitably get hurt at some point.


RUNNING BACK (3)

Isaiah Crowell

Terrence West

Duke Johnson

CUT: Timothy Flanders, Shaun Draughn

Analysis: This group has the potential to be one of the most exciting parts of the 2015 season… or the most disappointing. So, you know, that will be fun. Buckle up.


FULLBACK (1)

Malcolm Johnson

Analysis: There’s not much to say here. Moving on…..


WIDE RECEIVERS (7)

Brian Hartline

Dwayne Bowe

Andrew Hawkins

Taylor Gabriel

Travis Benjamin

Terrelle Pryor

Marlon Moore

CUT: Darius Jennings, Josh Lenz, Vince Mayle

Analysis: Lenz had the best preseason outside of the top four receivers. But he loses out due to the size and athleticism of Pryor. Moore makes the team due to special teams. There is NO WAY Vince Mayle should get a spot just because he was picked fourth. That would be an awful message to send. He goes to the practice squad, hopefully with Lenz.


TIGHT ENDS (3)

Gary Barnidge

Jim Dray

EJ Bibbs

CUT: Rob Housler

Analysis: Housler had every leg up imaginable on the job and he was just flat-out outplayed by Bibbs. So he’s cut.


OFFENSIVE LINE (7)

LT

Joe Thomas

Andrew McDonald

LG

Joel Bitonio

Cameron Erving

C

Alex Mack

Cameron Erving

RG

John Greco

Cameron Erving

RT

Mitchell Schwartz

Andrew McDonald

Analysis: This was the hardest to project. Painter could make the team but my goodness he was terrible in the preseason. Like really, really bad. It’s a tough thing to ask Erving to be THAT versatile as a backup, but if someone gets hurt they’ll inevitably sign someone else’s practice squad player to add “depth.”

CUT: Karim Barton, Erle Ladson, Darrian Miller, Eric Olson, Vinston Painter


DEFENSIVE LINE (8)

RE

Randy Starks

John Hughes

Billy Winn

LE

Desmond Bryant

Armonty Bryant

Xavier Cooper

NT

Danny Shelton

Jamie Meder

CUT: Dylan Wynn, Jacobbi McDaniel

Analysis: Meder is versatile and earned a spot, Cooper had a great preseason, the Bryant brothers are solid, and Billy Winn fought his ass off to earn the final spot in this group of linemen.


LINEBACKER (8)

ROLB

Paul Kruger

Nate Orchard

MIKE

Karlos Dansby

Hayes Pullard

WILL

Christian Kirksey

Craig Robertson

LOLB

Barkevious Mingo

Scott Solomon

CUT: Mike Reilly, Tank Carder

Analysis: Carder loses out because of the exceptional play of Pullard (while in reality they’ll probably keep Carder and send Pullard to the practice squad). Orchard was shaky in the preseason. Solomon is a solid backup to Mingo and will play a bunch of snaps anyway.


Justin Gilbert is not going anywhere. Last years first of two first round picks will be on the final 53. (Photo: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)

Justin Gilbert is not going anywhere. Last year’s first of two first round picks will be on the final 53. (Photo: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)

SECONDARY (10)

CB1

Joe Haden

Pierre Desir

CB2

Tramon Williams

Justin Gilbert

CB3

K’Waun Williams

Charles Gaines

Johnson Bademosi

FS

Tashaun Gipson

Johnson Bademosi

SS

Donte Whitner

Ibrahim Campbell

CUT: Landon Feichter, Kendall James, Robert Nelson, Joe Rankin, De’Ante Saunders, Jordan Poyer

Analysis: Justin Gilbert isn’t getting cut. Let’s just put that to bed right now. Gaines earned a spot with his performance down the stretch. He clearly showed marked improvement on a weekly basis. Bademosi is an exceptional special teams player, and he’ll probably have a spot as long as Pettine is our coach. So Poyer is the odd man out.


SPECIAL TEAMS (3):

P: Andy Lee

K: Travis Coons

LS: Charley Hughlett

 Analysis: Andy Lee is the early  leader in the clubhouse for 2015 Team MVP. Go Browns.

-@HFSCLEVELAND

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