CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The Browns trimmed their roster down to the mandated 53 Saturday at 4 p.m. but they aren’t done tweaking it yet.
Executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown and the personnel department will pour through hundreds of players who were released Saturday to see who might be able to fill in a few weak spots.
The Browns hold the first priority on waiver claims and last year, Cleveland claimed 5 players, including 3 who made this year’s initial roster.
“Waivers and claiming a player sounds really nice but you don’t have a familiarity you have versus a guy you’re going to have to get rid of on your roster, so there’s some risk involved,” Brown said. “We do a lot of diligence, our pro groups are always tremendously well-prepared and organized so it’ll be a long night and morning but hopefully we can find some young guys who can help us on our roster.”
The Browns elected to start with 3 quarterbacks – DeShone Kizer, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan – after cutting Brock Osweiler, who is expected to sign with Denver.
“Our young guys were playing good and we needed to continue to grow them,” head coach Hue Jackson said. “The only way you can do that is by keeping them on your roster and giving them a chance to keep getting better behind DeShone, who we picked as a starter.”
They also kept 10 offensive linemen, defensive linemen and defensive backs.
Seventh round pick and 2016 Lou Groza award winner Zane Gonzalez beat out Cody Parkey for the kicking job.
“We could’ve went either way to be very honest with you because Cody has done some good things here, but Zane came in and proved that we did a great job in making the selection in drafting him,” Jackson said. “He held his own, guy obviously nailed a 53-yarder the other night (in Chicago) and he’s done a great job thus far in camp and kicks the ball out of the end zone whenever we need him to do so.”
All 10 2017 draft picks made the team, although cornerback Howard Wilson will start the year on PUP, 21 of the 53 players were added in 2017 and 42 of 53 players have been added since 2016 reinforcing the organizational philosophy to draft and develop players.
“We do like [that] we’re young and the talent is not only better, but also ascending,” Brown said.
Here’s how the current roster breaks down.
Quarterbacks (3): DeShone Kizer, Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan
Running backs (3): Isaiah Crowell, Duke Johnson Jr., Matthew Dayes
Fullback (1): Danny Vitale
Wide receivers (5): Kenny Britt, Corey Coleman, Sammie Coates, Ricardo Louis, Rashard Higgins
Tight ends (3): Randall Telfer, Seth DeValve, David Njoku
Offensive linemen (10): Joe Thomas, Joel Bitonio, JC Tretter, Kevin Zeitler, Shon Coleman, Rod Johnson, Marcus Martin, Spencer Drango, Austin Reiter, Zach Sterup
Defensive linemen (10): Myles Garrett, Danny Shelton, Trevon Coley, Emmanuel Ogbah, Caleb Brantley, Tyrone Holmes, Jamie Meder, Carl Nassib, Larry Ogunjobi, Nate Orchard
Linebackers (5): Jamie Collins Sr., Christian Kirksey, Joe Schobert, Dominique Alexander, James Burgess
Defensive backs (10): Jamar Taylor, Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Jason McCourty, Marcus Burley, Darius Hillary, Jabrill Peppers, Derrick Kindred, Ibraheim Campbell, Calvin Pryor III, Kai Nacua
Kicker (1): Zane Gonzalez
Punter (1): Britton Colquitt
Long snapper (1): Charley Hughlett