Welcome back to the fifth 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. Every few days 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.
The average NFL team has 9.0 OLs on their roster. I would expect 4 of them to be assigned to the offensive tackle position. Every team will go into the season with two starters locked in. They need to be confident the third tackle can start when injury strikes. Whereas the fourth spot is much more about development.
Starting LT: Jedrick Wills
Roster – Wills has performed at just below league average in his rookie season which as I looked at last offseason is what we expected. This doesn’t have any indication of his long-term potential. I expect him to develop into an above-average starting level tackle in the NFL. He will get at least three years to show this before they make any long term decision.
Starting RT: Jack Conklin
Roster – The Browns made their biggest splash of the last offseason when they signed Conklin. He had his best year to date in the NFL, finishing as the eighth-ranked offensive tackle and first among right tackles according to PFF. He has two more years left on his deal and as long as he remains healthy for those, he could be around longer.
Depth OT: ???
Roster – The Browns have Chris Hubbard under contract for one more year. He is a very versatile player who can be the sixth offensive lineman, regardless of which player goes down. Callahan elevated his talent to give Hubbard his record season, predominately playing at guard, finishing 11th in the league according to PFF. He is expensive though with them needing to pay him an additional $3.75m to stay for 2021. It is likely they could look to trade this to another team if they feel confident with the other players on the roster.
FA – If they feel Hubbard is too expensive then they could look to give a cheap one-year deal to a free agent while a younger player develops. With the reduced salary cap, it is likely many players will take cheap deals next season. Here are some potential names: Kendall Lamm, Josh Wells, Julie’n Davenport, Ty Nsekhe, Cedric Ogbuehi, Demar Dotson, James Hurst, Jermaine Eluemunor, and Mike Remmers.
Draft – If a player they like falls to them in the draft as early as round three then there is a very real opportunity that they grab someone to work as a cheap backup for two years before potentially replacing Conklin. They likely grab an offensive tackle much higher in the 2022 draft as great teams are always drafting a year in advance due to a deep roster and good coaching developing players.
Depth OT: ?
Roster – The Browns called up Alex Taylor several times through the season but he remained inactive on gameday. This likely means that they are excited about his potential but don’t see enough at the moment. Hopefully, he can make the changes and growth they want this offseason.
Draft – As above with the third tackle spot, there is a good chance they grab someone on day three to develop long term.
Other: Drake Dorbeck
Check back Friday for the Interior Offensive Line 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.