Browns have the youngest roster in the NFL
The Cleveland Browns have been building through the draft in recent years, which is why they have the youngest roster in the NFL
General manager Andrew Berry has a plan to build his roster with young talent. They’ve been drafting players they feel can be developed into future contributors, which is why they currently have the youngest roster in the NFL with an average age of 25.
Assistant general manager Glenn Cook recently said this wasn’t really by design but that it’s just the way things have played out.
"“I can’t say it’s been by design, but it’s kind of been consistent for us throughout the years that I’ve been here,” said Browns assistant GM Glenn Cook according to Mary Kay Cabot. “It’s just kind of how it’s played out. I wouldn’t say it’s completely intentional.”"
Browns have not replied solely on draft picks
While it’s true the Browns have been intentional in drafting young players to groom, they’re also not afraid to hit free agency or the trade market to make moves.
This was seen in 2020 when Berry first took the GM position and signed Austin Hooper and Jack Conklin. He continued to hit the open market in 2021, bringing in John Johnson III. In 2022, he got even more aggressive, adding Amari Cooper and Deshaun Watson in trades, with Watson coming at the expense of three Round 1 picks.
Even with those moves, Cleveland didn’t add a whole lot of age to their roster. Cooper was the oldest at the time he was added and is still just 28 years old. Watson, who is expected to be the centerpiece of their franchise, is just 26 years of age.
Youth has its challenges
Having a young roster is a positive in the fact that the Browns can be a contender for years to come with this core of players. That doesn’t mean there aren’t growing pains to deal with as younger players take time to develop — see Anthony Schwartz as an example.
Having Watson under contract should help though. Once he’s back from his suspension, he has the talent to elevate those around him. And if they find success with that plan, they will have the option to keep their roster together for several years.