Browns Roster Composition Important Piece of Puzzle
In recent days we have went through NFL Free Agency and a 7 Round NFL Mock Draft for the Cleveland Browns. One component that we haven’t addressed when building the Browns roster is the composition of that roster. Not only are the Browns looking to bring talent in but also to build the overall roster.
Filling needs is important. The Browns have needs at wide receiver, offensive line, defensive line, quarterback and overall team depth. With a chance to add 10 players via the NFL Draft and to add a number of players via free agency, it could be easy to think only about the team filling their holes, instead of building their roster.
A great example is the Free Agency piece that we put up this morning. We had the Browns signing Duron Carter and Cecil Shorts as well as re-signing Miles Austin for his leadership. IF, had to be a big if, Josh Gordon returns that would mean the Browns would have Gordon, Carter, Shorts, Austin, Andrew Hawkins and Taylor Gabriel as their top six wide receivers. That doesn’t include Travis Benjamin or Marlon Moore who played important special teams roles last season.
The Browns played most of last season with only 5 or 6 receivers on their roster. They are unlikely to have any more players at the position and at least two of those receivers will be expected to produce on special teams. Not only do they need to return punts but cover punts, something Moore did very well. Austin isn’t doing that. Carter and Gordon are not likely to do that. Shorts could be likely won’t. That leaves smaller guys Hawkins and Gabriel to fill the role.
Needless to say we may have signed one too many receivers without thinking about roster composition. Obviously if Gordon leaves the Browns could find a receiver that could fill both roles including keeping Moore.
So lets take a look at the Browns roster from last season. We will look at the composition of the Opening Day Roster as well as the final roster to get an idea of how GM Ray Farmer and Head Coach Mike Pettine want to build their roster.
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Now we ended up with only 30 players that we are sure will be on the roster next season. Obviously quite a few players that are on the roster today will be on the roster next year but if the Browns can upgrade over any of them they will. Some areas to look at in particular are the offensive and defensive line. The offensive line already has at least 6 players that will be on the roster, unless something significant happens. The defensive line has needs and could have Phil Taylor back as well. That would leave them 2 or 3 roster spots to plug the middle of their line, where huge needs are.
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Obviously the Browns roster has some needs especially at the wide receiver position and other positions as well. While those needs are clear it will be important to process the composition of the Browns roster. Players are going to be needed on special teams and, while we want to see the offensive line upgraded, they only have room for 1 or 2 more linemen.
Keep this chart to keep you up to date when you are looking at the NFL Draft and NFL Free Agency. Fit is vital. Roster composition is vital. We were conservative in what players we listed as likely for the 2015 Cleveland Browns Roster, there are quite a few others that will make it next year from this year’s team.
How important is Browns roster composition to you?
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