5 surprising roster decisions Cleveland Browns could make in 2021
By Sam Penix
Five ways the Cleveland Browns could surprise with their final 53-man roster
The Cleveland Browns kick off the 2021 NFL season in just about 50 days, and training camp begins very shortly.
Roster decisions will come up sooner than anyone likes, and while most positions seem to be somewhat easy to predict, the Browns haven’t shied away from the unpredictable.
Here are five surprising decisions the team could conceivably make.
5. Keep only five wide receivers again
With Kevin Stefanski’s scheme came a high usage of 12-personnel (one running back and two tight ends, and thus two wide receivers) and a low amount of 11-personnel (one RB and one TE, leaving three WRs). Cleveland initially carried six receivers on the roster out of training camp, but that number decreased to just five after returner JoJo Natson suffered a torn ACL.
The natural evolution of the Browns offense lead to Baker Mayfield throwing the ball more and having plenty of success doing it, so it would be a surprise to see the team carry only five WRs once again, but it is within the realm of possibility. The odd man out would be the ever-dependable KhaDarel Hodge, all of whose catches last season went for first downs.
He’s also an excellent special teamer, and that will be all the more important with the departure of Tavierre Thomas. Hodge is a quality player, and it’s extremely valuable to have reliable depth at receiver. If any of the starters were to go down, Hodge can be counted upon.