Welcome back to the tenth installment of the series. I am taking a deep dive into the Browns roster and how they can best fill the holes in their roster. Each day I will be releasing a different position room.
For every position room, I have outlined how the NFL structures that position on the roster. The players we have in four categories: starter, rotation (play some snaps), depth (injury backup/special teams) and other (likely cut). Then I will lay out the options currently on the roster, available in FA as well as via the draft for all 53 spots.
The average NFL team has 10.0 DBs on their roster. Six CBs give you flexibility at the position. With nickel now being the default for many defenses you likely see two outside corners and a slot corner on nearly every snap. You can never have enough good cornerbacks as one injury can destabilize the entire coverage. The depth of three more corners must have one who can start and then two with upside/special teams ability.
Starting Outside CB: Denzel Ward
Starting Outside CB: Greedy Williams
Roster – The Browns two young corners struggled at times last season. Ward was much stronger in coverage and struggled with tackling whereas Williams was the opposite. We know Ward has the talent to be one of the top CBs in the league. There is still a large amount of hope that Greedy can develop into the player he was drafted to be. The Browns will need to have solid depth behind him if he doesn’t though. Hopefully, with a change of Defensive Coordinator, we will see an increase in the use of man coverage where both have been successful in the past.
Starting Slot CB: ?
FA – Now the Browns have moved on from TJ Carrie they have a hole in the slot that needs filling. Luckily this is an offseason where they have plenty of choices available. They can go for the top of the market in Byron Jones but he is an expensive accusation. There are four names at a much more reasonable price who should be on the radar: Darqueze Dennard, Brian Poole, Mackensie Alexander & Kendall Fuller. Currently, the slot CB market is much cheaper than the outside market so the value can be found.
Draft – They could go the route of trying to address this position in the draft by signing someone on day two or at the higher end of day 3 but it would come with uncertainty. You would be better addressing a position many view as a starter due to the rise of nickel in FA.
Depth CB: Terrance Mitchell
Roster – The Browns have a great choice as third outside CB on the roster in Mitchell. He has been a solid performer for his entire NFL career and should command a decent payday when he completes his final year of this contract.
Depth CB: ?
Draft – CB has always been a position that teams have struggled to scout. The Browns should be investing heavily at the back of the draft and in UDFAs every single year. They should be able to find a player there who can develop into a depth piece on the roster in the fifth spot.
Depth CB: Tavierre Thomas/Robert Jackson
Roster – The sixth spot will be filled by a special teams player. Tavierre Thomas was a very good performer on special teams in 2018 but wasn’t at the same level during 2019 with Mike Priefer so he might not make the roster this year. Robert Jackson played less special team snaps but did well when on the field. It will be a competition in camp to find the best special teamer.
Other: Donnie Lewis Jr, Tavierre Thomas/Robert Jackson
Check back tomorrow for the Safety deep dive.
Any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @JackDuffin. The DMs are open for any salary cap/roster construction questions you have.