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Browns depth chart: How does the offense look after two weeks of free agency

The Plain Dealer  Cleveland logo The Plain Dealer Cleveland 3/25/2023 Dan Labbe,
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones celebrates with Cleveland Browns wide receiver Amari Cooper after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Commanders in the second half of play. © Joshua Gunter/ Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones celebrates with Cleveland Browns wide receiver Amari Cooper after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Commanders in the second half of play.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Two weeks into NFL free agency, the Browns’ roster is beginning to take shape. There’s still work to be done and a draft to be had, but now’s a good time to take a closer look at the team’s depth chart.

Part 1 of our depth chart look focuses on the offense. The Browns made some key additions at wide receiver and solidified backup quarterback and left some former Andrew Berry draft picks on the bubble.

It’s hard to really know the pecking order without seeing the field, but here are some guesses as to how the depth chart looks. It’s divided into two-to-three categories at each position:

Starter: Pretty self explanatory.

On the roster: Players likely to make it but not likely starters at the moment.

Battling: Players who will have to fight their way onto the 53-man roster.

It’s super early, of course, so this is highly subject to change.

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Starter: Deshaun Watson

Backups: Joshua Dobbs, Kellen Mond

The Browns brought Dobbs back to be the No. 2 behind Watson, a valuable resource as Watson goes into his second year with the Browns and one of the most important seasons of his career where he will try to re-establish himself among the top names at the position.

Running back

Starter: Nick Chubb

On the roster: Jerome Ford

Battling: John Kelly Jr., Nate McCrary

Ford will get his opportunity to replace Kareem Hunt. Ford is a player the Browns liked for his ability to catch the football. He might also get opportunities in the kickoff return game, but an expanded role in the backfield and the return of Jakeem Grant Sr. might lead to him focusing mostly on his day job.

Wide receiver

Starters: Amari Cooper, Elijah Moore, Donovan Peoples-Jones

On the roster: Marquise Goodwin, Jakeem Grant Sr., Michael Woods II, David Bell

Battling: Demetric Felton Jr., Anthony Schwartz, Daylen Baldwin, Jaelon Darden, Mike Harley Jr., Marquez Stevenson, Isaiah Weston

The top three are clear while the addition of Goodwin and return of Grant, if he’s close to the player he was, puts the squeeze on some recent draft picks, most notably Felton and Schwartz. Woods and Bell are too recent of draft picks to get the boot and Grant will likely get a chance to re-establish himself as the team’s top return man, too.

Tight end

Starters: David Njoku, Jordan Akins

Battling: Harrison Bryant, Zaire Mitchell-Paden

It’s likely the Browns keep three tight ends, but the addition of Akins puts Bryant in an awkward position of battling for a starting job and making sure he doesn’t get left off the 53-man roster.

Offensive line

Guards: Joel Bitoino, Wyatt Teller

C: Ethan Pocic

T: Jack Conklin, Jedrick Wills Jr.

On the roster: Nick Harris

Battling: Guards: Drew Forbes, Dawson Deaton; Tackles: James Hudson III, Joe Haeg, Tyrone Wheatley Jr.

Harris is a backup again thanks to some bad luck and Pocic’s strong play, but he seems safe. There is opportunity at swing tackle and for extra interior linemen with the departure of Hjalte Froholdt and Chris Hubbard and Michael Dunn now free agents.

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