Welcome back to the second 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. I’ve also tried to predict the variation from the norm due to a Stefanski offense. 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.
Click to check out the Deep Dive for QBs.
The average NFL team has 4.3 RBs/FBs on their roster. A #1 RB who can play all three downs as both a runner and a receiver. A 3rd down back to compliment them. Another who can offer depth and predominately play special teams. Then in the Browns case, a Fullback to fit Stefanski’s scheme.
Starting RB: Nick Chubb
Roster – The Browns have two years left of Nick Chubb’s rookie deal before a decision has to be made on the future. A forward-thinking team, fit for the modern NFL will allow another team to walk and cash in on the compensation pick. With several big Browns contracts coming down the line and the fallout of RB deals like Johnson, Gurley, and Bell, any hope of a deal is dying rapidly.
Rotational 3rd Down Back: Kareem Hunt (RFA)
Roster – Due to his off the field actions, Hunt drops down to a 3rd (original) round tender. Hopefully, he can sort out his issues and cash in during free agency next offseason. If he can perform then the Browns have the best RB tandem in the NFL. He could then net the Browns a very nice compensation pick next offseason.
Draft – In the likely event that someone matches the 3rd round tender and signs Kareem Hunt, the Front Office would happily let him walk. The Browns can then draft a running back on Day 3 to replace him and get a player on a controlled salary for four seasons.
Depth RB: ?
Roster – It could be one of the players currently on the roster as Hilliard & Johnson played very well on special teams last year.
Draft – In terms of adding a third RB though, it is likely rounds 6/7 or a UDFA. Whoever performs the best in special teams likely gets the role. I have a feeling it will be a new face in the role but adopting Stefanski’s scheme will be key to who makes the cut.
Rotational FB: ?
Roster – Johnny Stanton could be the guy but I doubt they go into camp with him as the favored name at fullback considering he was on IR last season.
FA – Stefanski will use a fullback heavily this season so an addition is key, the top name in FA is Anthony Sherman. Due to the position, it is a very cheap deal and we can go for a proven player.
Draft – The other option is to pick up a free agent on day three or a UDFA and let them battle it out with Stanton. There might be some undrafted TEs that can be converted and have an athletic profile matching Stefanski’s vision.
Other: Dontrell Hilliard, D’Ernest Johnson, Johnny Stanton
Check back tomorrow for the Wide Receiver 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.