Cleveland Browns best practice squad signing No. 2: Porter Gustin, EDGE
After playing in 20 games over the past two seasons, it was a bit of a surprise to see Porter Gustin go unclaimed after being cut. Undrafted out of USC in 2019, Gustin played in six games as a rookie and logged significant minutes while Myles Garrett was suspended and Olivier Vernon battled knee injuries.
Gustin finished with 13 tackles and a sack that season and then in 2020, he was able to beat out former third-round pick Chad Thomas for the final reserve defensive end spot. This time, he was much more prevalent in the lineup, playing in 14 games with three starts.
The second-year player ended up recording 30 tackles, two of which went for a loss. He also had seven quarterback pressures, but never ended up getting a sack. Even without notching that coveted statistic, he did his job well and showed that he could be relied upon to fill in when needed.
When the initial 53-man roster was announced, Cleveland had just three defensive ends on the depth chart — and Takk McKinley was included despite not practicing for several weeks. They did wind up signing Joe Jackson back to the active roster but even with that move, they were wise to keep Gustin in town.
Myles Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney, and Takk McKinley all have missed several games in their careers and Jackson appeared in just three games with five tackles last season for Cleveland which means he’s a bit of an unknown. They’ll hope to never need Gustin but knowing he’s there and has so much experience can be invaluable.