There’s not much change at all to the specialists for the Browns this season as they return the same kicker, punter, and long snapper from 2019. There is, however, a chance they bring in a return specialist this year.
Austin Seibert, Placekicker
2018 was full of kicking woes for Cleveland and they hoped to have solved that problem by adding Austin Seibert in the 2019 NFL Draft. The Oklahoma product was taken in the fifth round but he struggled early in camp, which had fans biting their nails.
Eventually, Seibert settled into his role and he was successful as a rookie. He ended up knocking in 25-of-29 field goal tries with a long of 53 on the year. He did struggle at times on extra points, going 30-of-35 on those. Still, he’s proven he belongs and should be the long-time kicker for the Browns.
Jamie Gillan, Punter
There may not have ever been a Browns punter who gained popularity as quickly as Jamie Gillan did. Undrafted out of Arkansas-Pine Bluff in 2019, Gillan beat out Britton Colquitt for the job and was excellent as a rookie. He averaged 46.2 yards per punt and even showed he could handle kickoffs, doing so four times.
Gillan enters camp on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, but there’s no reason to think he won’t be ready to go when the regular season kicks off.
You can tell a long snapper is good when his name is never mentioned. That’s the case with Charley Hughlett who just behind Joel Bitonio for the longest-tenured Cleveland Browns player. Bitonio was drafted in 2014 whereas Hughlett was on the Cleveland practice squad that season before being released. He then came back in Dec. 2014, after being signed off the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad.
His is a thankless job as Hughlett doesn’t get any credit for what he does — but if he did start to slip, we would surely notice.
JoJo Natson, Returner
One signing this offseason that piqued our interest was the move for JoJo Natson. The 5-foot-7, 153-pound Natson is listed as a receiver but he’s clearly in town to do one thing — return kicks. The Browns have been dreadful in this department so they take advantage of the new rules that allow them to move two players from the squad by keeping a return specialist here.