Making the 53

The final week for every player on the bubble to make a case for the 53-man roster starts this week. On September 1st at 4pm, all 32 teams will have to trim the roster from the 90 they have now. After the 4 pm deadline, the waiver wire will also be open for teams to claim any player released. This year like last, the Browns will have the first right to claim any player released by another team. Providing the perfect opportunity for John Dorsey to try and find help for the offensive line that in its current state lacks the depth needed for the 2018 season. In my opinion, a starting left tackle, back up guard and center may all be players Dorsey could be looking to find. With the new kick off rules in place, it’s anyone’s guess to how a new roster may look. Per a Q&A with head coach Hue Jackson, he did comment on the wide receiver position, stating that 6 is a good number for that group on the final 53-man. Using that number it’s safe to say that Gordon, Landry, and Callaway will all make it, leaving just 3 spots open. With #18 Damion Ratley coming on strong over the last few weeks and also a draft pick by GM John Dorsey he could be a front-runner as well. Overall this is a much-improved receiver group but still lacks that tall inside the red zone win the 50/50 ball, receiver other than Gordon. I could see this as a top priority for Dorsey to find if one should they come available on the wire. In 2017 the Browns retained 4 tight ends and this year have 6 with newly added #86 Stephen Baggett from East Carolina that fans have not had the chance to see yet. With an injury-plagued preseason and a massive drop in production last year, #87 Seth DeValve will be someone to watch. The team could place him on IR (injured reserve) to allow them to keep an extra tight end until he’s cleared or simply move on. As I see it right now only two of the 6 are truly safe in # 85 David Njoku and #88 Darren Fells. I know it’s always easy to have a fan favorite and even more watching Hard Knocks but this is a production-based business and John Dorsey wasn’t shy making his feeling known about the 2017 roster. I believe the team is set at quarterback, running back and fullback. The only changes I can see would be keeping 3 or 4 running backs as they retained 3 last year. If the Browns do focus mainly on the running game keeping 4 is a real possibility. With a combo of power backs in Hyde and Chubb, the Browns could also have a matching combo of utility backs with Johnson and Dayes. Switching over to the defensive side, this years group looks to be fairly set both from starters to rotation players. If a top rated 3 technique tackle (plays on the outside shoulder of the offensive guard) should come available I could see Dorsey adding them. With a coach Williams defense, it’s important to remember he doesn’t see anyone as a starter but instead views his team in packages. So no player including Myles Garrett is a true starter. The package of Carl Nassib and Celeb Brantly came on strong in the final preseason game. With injuries and lack of playing time #92 Chad Thomas could be the first of this year’s draft class to not make the team. Thomas is listed in the 3rd position group at defensive end, on the current depth chart. With the team most likely to only retain 4 he’ll have an uphill battle to take a spot from either #50 Chris Smith or #94 Carl Nassib. With both the strong safety and free safety groups set I can not foresee any reason Dorsey would add another. At linebacker #58 Christian Kirksey, #55 Genard Avery, #53 Joe Schobert, #52 James Burgess Jr.,#51 Jamie Collins Sr., #54 Mychal Kendricks are all listed in the first 2 groups. It’s going to be difficult to say the least for anyone else to take any spot. Unlike linebacker the cornerback group could still see changes made. While #38 T.J. Carrie was signed to a handsome contract his play both in training camp and games has not been up to par. As with the receiver group the safe number will be 6 kept at that position group this year. With #21 Denzel Ward #39 Terrance Mitchell #28 E.J. Gaines all safe that only leaves 3 spots remaining. Another possibility is #20 Briean Boddy-Calhoun who can play both safety as he’s listed now and cornerback the Browns could go with 5 as they did last year and retain a extra safety. I will not be surprised if Dorsey doesn’t try to pull of a trade this week before simply releasing anyone at this position. For the first time in years the Browns will have to release good players because they simply don’t have the numbers to retain them.
The Browns will also be able to add players, up to 10 on the team’s practice squad. So even if you should have a favorite player released there is a chance he could remain. I dislike this time of year because I always want everyone to make it.

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