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Good drafting is the key to the Cleveland Browns‘ dynasty-building plans.
Every member of Andrew Berry’s 2020 NFL Draft class is expected to contribute, if not start in 2022.
And his 2021 class reports to training camp with a shot at increasing their roles, too.
But they’ll be joined by 9 members of the 2022 draft class and a wealth of undrafted free agents.
By the Numbers: Breaking down our 2021 draft class
📋 » https://t.co/EPUv682beG pic.twitter.com/sZUVZYE9As
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) May 5, 2021
Berry locked up his corps group of stars, and brought in a bunch of other important veterans to help.
More than a few position rooms are getting crowded in Berea.
And nobody wants to be the first Berry draft pick to miss the 53-man roster.
These two 2021 draft picks need a good training camp to keep their class intact and in Cleveland.
It’s pretty safe to assume Greg Newsome and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah will be on the Browns’ 2022 roster.
Berry’s top 2 picks are already starters and contributed a lot as rookies.
Anthony Schwartz had his struggles, but Kevin Stefanski will give him at least another year to master his craft.
Some might suspect Tony Fields, the only 2nd-year player not to play a regular-position snap as a rookie, is at risk.
Wow. #Browns 5th Rd draft pick Richard LeCounte just made a play from the free safety position that I've never seen Sheldrick Redwine make in 2 years: pic.twitter.com/KqqUwgbdOT
— Lt. Roberto Shenanigans (@Rob_Shenanigans) August 15, 2021
But Cleveland carried 6 linebackers each of the last 2 seasons, and Fields is no worst than #5 on a thin depth chart.
Richard LeCounte played sparingly last year, but that seemed by design as he has the edge on the #4 safety spot.
Cleveland can afford to be patient with James Hudson and hope he slides into Chris Hubbard’s role in 2023.
And that leaves 2 players who need a good camp, including one who will surprise.
NFL football is nothing if not a numbers game, and even the best players can fall victim to them.
Demetric Felton showed up all over the field last year, as a wide receiver, running back, and return man.
And every time he touched the ball, the crowd expected a highlight reel juke or dash or touchdown.
But Cleveland drafted David Bell, who is likely to jump ahead of Felton into the Jarvis Landry role.
Look at this angle of Demetric Felton's touchdown 👀pic.twitter.com/rtxpmcG3BV
— Billy Heyen (@BillyHeyen) September 19, 2021
They also signed veteran speedster Jakeem Grant, with hopes of seeing his 7th return touchdown in his 7th season.
And rookie Jerome Ford, along with D’Ernest Johnson’s guaranteed contract leaves no room at running back.
Cleveland has Schwartz and Donovan Peoples-Jones as serviceable returners to back up Grant.
Felton’s best chance is to earn the 6th wide receiver slot if 4 running backs and a fullback allow for that many.
Former Ohio State standout, Tommy Togiai, knows he needs to play stronger and faster this season.
What better way to stop analysts and fans from calling his position the weakest link in Joe Woods’ defense?
Last season, Cleveland kept a 5th interior lineman, largely to protect their rookie from the practice squad.
But he has to earn his role with a strong camp if Berry and Stefanski go back to their 2020 standard.
#Browns rookie DT Tommy Togiai getting some pressure on Baker Mayfield, who was forced to throw it away. pic.twitter.com/fWpThJyLey
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) August 8, 2021
Veteran Sheldon Day returns to compete for the 4th spot with Togiai.
Free agent Taven Bryan took most of the OTA first-team snaps next to Jordan Elliott.
And rookie Perrion Winfrey has the inside track on the third rotation slot.
Berry always prefers to keep the younger player, but Togiai can’t take that for granted.
Filed Under: Daily News
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