Browns 53 Man Roster & Cuts Analyzed

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Aug 9, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Nate Burleson (13) against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns announced their 53 man roster late in the afternoon yesterday. While the 53 man roster will always be fluid, especially for a front office and coaching staff trying to make over a roster that they inherited, the roster and the cuts give us some interesting perspective on the team. Let’s start with the cuts.

The Browns removed receivers Nate Burleson and Willie Snead from their roster.

The Browns are short on receiver skills, especially those with experience. Burleson has the experience but struggled to stay healthy. Fans and the team had high hopes for undrafted Snead and he could still make the team’s Practice Squad.

Running backs Dion Lewis and Chris Ogbonnaya are gone.

Lewis had all but wrapped up the 3rd running back spot last week and is now off the roster. Lewis gave the Browns a shifty back that they don’t otherwise have. His fit in the Zone Blocking Scheme was always a question, but one he seemed to answer. Obby is a jack of all trades master of none that just didn’t fit the numbers game.

Tight end/fullback MarQueis Gray and TE Emmanuel Ogbuehi were waived.

Gray was considered a lock for the roster and the front runner for the Browns starting fullback job. How quickly things fell apart for him. Gray was concussed on an illegal hit and things went down hill from there. He struggled with ball security and didn’t show the strength at the point of attack as a FB. He was moved back to TE but couldn’t crack the list. Ogbuehi was a body but little more at this point in his development.

Offensive linemen Reid Fragel, Garrett Gilkey, Donald Hawkins, Alex Parson and Abasi Salimu were waived.

The Browns had a ton of offensive linemen on their roster after collecting this off-season. The Browns don’t seem overly excited about their backup options on the line. Expect Hawkins and even possibly Gilkey to make it to the Practice Squad. The offensive line group will look different all year long.

Quarterback Connor Shaw was waived.

Shaw has a ton of fans in the Carolinas as our article on him yesterday shows. Shaw showed flashes of the skills that could be developed over time. He looked like the best QB on the field against the Redskins but he was also playing against the lowest competition. He was undrafted so he is likely to make it through waivers and could be placed on the Browns Practice Squad as a long term backup plan to Johnny Manziel.

Defensive linemen Calvin Barnett, Jacobbi McDaniel and Justin Staples were cut.

Barnett and McDaniel were exciting undrafted rookies that both should get some attention on the waiver wire from line hungry teams. Staples played all over the place, including linebacker, and seemed to have a noise for the ball. None of these cuts were overly surprising but all 3 is a bit shocking. If unclaimed all are eligible for the Practice Squad.

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Zac Diles and Jamal Westerman were cut.

Diles and Westerman each made plays throughout the pre-season but struggled with consistency. Much like the Browns defensive line their linebacking corp is pretty good as well. Breaking through would be tough. Neither are eligible for the Practice Squad and will look for work elsewhere.

Josh Aubrey joined Leon McFadden on the waiver wire.

Aubrey has fans in the analyst world but was in competition with a number of players for the final safety spot. Jim Leonhard‘s signing seems to seal his fate. McFadden was torched this pre-season and had little hope, outside of injury, to make the roster. In another system and with some development McFadden could develop over time.

Isaiah Trufant was placed on the injured reserve.

A small corner that Mike Pettine seemed to really like now misses the season as Trufant is placed on the IR. Fans didn’t get to see much from him but coaches love his scrappy-ness and ball skills. Trufant will get a look next year.

A Look at the 53 Man Roster on the Next Page (Click here)