Post OTA Browns 53-man roster prediction features pleasant surprise

With OTAs behind us, here's a 53-man Cleveland Browns roster prediction
Cleveland Browns, Nick Chubb, Duce Staley
Cleveland Browns, Nick Chubb, Duce Staley / Nick Cammett/GettyImages
3 of 4

Defensive Line (9):

Myles Garrett
Shelby Harris
Dalvin Tomlinson
Za'Darius Smith
Ogbo Okoronkwo
Alex Wright
Maurice Hurst
Michael Hall, Jr.
Quinton Jefferson

The strength of this team lies in their defense and the tone is set by the big guys up front. Myles Garett and Za'Darius Smith have been two of the top pass-rushers over the past several seasons and Garrett is coming off his first NFL Defensive Player of the Year campaign. They're joined by Dalvin Tomlinson and Shelby Harris, which is an impressive starting line.

Cleveland isn't just strong with their starters either. Alex Wright quietly put up five sacks while Ogbo Okoronkwo had 4.5 last year. They also have Maurice Hurst, Quinton Jefferson, and second-round pick Michael Hall, Jr. as their reserves at D-tackle. They're so deep that Siaki Ika, a third-round pick from 2023, is unable to crack the lineup.

Linebacker (6):

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
Jordan Hicks
Devin Bush
Tony Fields II
Nathaniel Watson
Mohamoud Diabate

The Browns go with six linebackers, but it was tempting to stick with just five to go deep elsewhere. Their starting three are set with Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah being joined by free-agent additions Jordan Hicks and Devin Bush. On the bench, Tony Fields II is a special teams weapon who has stepped up every time he's played in the base defense.

Nathaniel Watson makes the team as a sixth-round pick and there should be a role for the throwback player. Last is Mohamoud Diabate, an undrafted rookie from 2023. He's the one on the bubble, so if they go deep at another position, he could be let go with the intention being to re-sign him to the practice squad.