5 unknown Cleveland Browns who might surprise in 2021

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Michael Dunn (68) hugs offensive guard Wyatt Teller (77) after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. [Jeff Lange/Beacon Journal]
Browns Extras 11

The Cleveland Browns brought in players from out of nowhere and had them perform like veterans in 2020. Some might stick around for more in 2021.

The Cleveland Browns provided their fans with several great stories last season as they brought players seemingly from out of nowhere to play key roles in victories all the way through the playoffs.

However, the roster is already much deeper this season and many of these players may not be complete enough to make the team this season. Many may simply become the answer to future trivia questions, and may never again set foot in FirstEnergy Stadium for a regular-season game.

But the old cliché is true. Anyone with a uniform number in training camp is a threat.

Some of these unknowns have contracts — though without guarantees, of course — and they have the opportunity to defy the odds again and win a roster spot.

Cleveland will have 90 players on the roster during the summer at any one time, but will cut and sign a few more for a look-see so that over 100 will actually be evaluated on-site. Some of these miracle players may be back for an encore in 2021.

The old Browns — not the old, old Browns, but the ones of the past few years who were always going 4-12 or even worse — were marked by their incredible penchant for blowing first-round draft picks and finding players who were more interested in recreational pharmaceuticals rather than playing football.

Last year’s Browns were noteworthy because when injuries or Covid-10 struck, the front office was able to conjure up new players who suited up and played like veterans. That has never happened before, or at least not in this century.

Hence here are five longshots who came from out of nowhere in 2020 and who have no business making the team in 2021, but who might fight their way onto the team anyway. If they don’t start the season with the team, they might be on the practice squad and return to the active roster later on.

Others might continue their football careers with other teams. We will wish those players well, except when they play the Browns, of course. Dawg Pound Daily will help you keep tabs on these players.

We can begin with the most improbable and perhaps greatest story of all, Michael Dunn, the ex-Ram, ex-Jaguar, ex-AAF, ex-XFL, ex-everything player, who held the offensive line together versus the Steelers in the playoffs.

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse