The Cleveland Browns have already played three of their four preseason games in 2023 and the roster/depth chart is already starting to take shape. Although every team has preseason Cinderella stories to monitor, some guys end up carving out significant regular-season roles and opening a lot of eyes with what they do throughout the exhibition season.
The Browns are certainly no exception there and they have a big enough sample size from some of these guys to really make confident decisions. A number of players have really stood out for the Browns team, skyrocketing their stock.
Let's take a look at three players who have impressed in a big way so far in the 2023 preseason.
3 Cleveland Browns players whose stock is skyrocking in 2023 preseason
1. Austin Watkins, wide receiver
Austin Watkins has been good enough in the 2023 preseason to get himself a Baldy Breakdown.
The 6-foot-3 receiver is playing in a crowded position group with the Cleveland Browns right now, but his preseason is working in his advantage thus far. As any coach will tell you, you're out there auditioning for all 31 other teams even if you don't make the roster you're currently on, so Watkins isn't going to be out of work long if he doesn't end up cracking the Browns' 53-man roster.
The former UDFA out of UAB initially signed in 2021 with the San Francisco 49ers. He spent some time with them as well as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before floating around other professional leagues like the CFL and USFL before being released to pursue NFL opportunities. And he's been making the most of this one.
Watkins looks really impressive through the first handful of preseason games this year with Cleveland, catching 15 passes for 245 yards and causing Browns fans to wonder -- will this be the end of the line for Donovan Peoples-Jones? Would the Browns really let go of David Bell just to keep Austin Watkins?
You never know what NFL teams are going to do but obviously, Watkins has established himself as a strong roster candidate and further muddies the waters at receiver for the Browns.