Three Cleveland Browns players who need to produce and perform in Preseason Week 1 to continue their fight for a roster spot.
General manager Andrew Berry and the Cleveland Browns did an amazing job of adding talent to an already talented roster this offseason.
Adding as much talent as possible is one of the most important things an NFL team can do, obviously. However, adding talent creates difficult decisions that teams have to make to cut down their final rosters, which is a great problem to have.
Here are three Browns players who need to shine in Preseason Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars to continue their battle to make the final roster.
3. D’Ernest Johnson, Running Back
Last season, D’Ernest Johnson stepped up big when his number was called. When the Browns bested the Cowboys 49-38 in Week 4, an opportunity rose for Johnson when star running back Nick Chubb left the game with a leg injury. It would be an understatement to say Johnson took advantage. He carried the ball 13 times for 95 yards while averaging 7.3 yards per carry.
The very next game against the Indianapolis Colts, Johnson may have not blown up the stat sheet with 8 rushes for 32 yards, however, he sealed the deal on a 28 yard run with two minutes to go.
Not only was Johnson impactful in the rushing game, but he also played a big part of the Browns special teams attack. He returned 14 kickoffs for 351 yards combined with a 25.1 yards per return average.
Cleveland selected RB Demetric Felton in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft and now, Johnson faces what seems to be an uphill battle to make the final roster. The Browns seem to really like Felton’s versatility. He can play running back, wide receiver and with a 4.58 40-yard dash time he can be a weapon in the return game.
With Chubb and Kareem Hunt as locks to make the final roster, it makes it that much more difficult for Johnson to survive the final cutdown.
If Johnson can perform in the Preseason, he has a shot at making the final roster. However, if he doesn’t shine, then he could be seeing his way out of Cleveland.