Create
Notifications

Cleveland Browns Depth Chart 2021: Predicting Week 1 Offensive and Defensive starters

Miami Dolphins vs Cleveland Browns
Miami Dolphins vs Cleveland Browns
ANALYST

The Cleveland Browns had a breakthrough NFL campaign last year, winning their first playoff game since 1993. They will be looking to build on that success this season, as the Browns have created a formidable squad in 2021.

Starting quarterback Baker Mayfield will be key to their success, and the Cleveland Browns front office has surrounded him with potent offensive weapons. After going 11-5 last season, the Cleveland Browns will be gunning for the AFC North division title and a high playoff seed this year.

Cleveland Browns Depth Chart 2021

Offense

Quarterback: Baker Mayfield, Case Keenum, Kyle Lauletta.

Running Back: Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, D’Ernest Johnson, Demetric Felton.

Wide Receiver: Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones, KhaDarel Hodge, Ryan Switzer, Derrick Willies, Ja’Marcus Bradley, Alexander Hollins, JoJo Natson.

Tight End: Austin Hooper, Harrison Bryant, David Njoku, Stephen Carlson.

Offensive Tackle: Jedrick Wills Jr., Jack Conklin, Greg Senat, Chris Hubbard, Alex Taylor.

Offensive Guard: Wyatt Teller, Joel Bitonio, Blake Hance, Michael Dunn, Nick Harris, Drew Forbes, Colby Gossett.

Center: JC Tretter, Nick Harris, Javon Patterson.

Cleveland Browns Depth Chart 2021

Defense

Interior Defensive Line: Sheldon Richardson, Malik Jackson, Jordan Elliott, Andrew Billings.

Edge: Myles Garrett, Takkarist McKinley, Jadeveon Clowney, Joe Jackson, Porter Gustin, Cameron Malveaux, Curtis Weaver.

Linebacker: Anthony Walker, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Sione Takitaki, Jacob Phillips, Malcolm Smith, Mack Wilson, Trevon Young, Elijah Lee.

Cornerback: Denzel Ward, Greedy Williams, Troy Hill, M.J. Stewart Jr., A.J. Green, Robert Jackson.

Safety: John Johnson III, Ronnie Harrison Jr., Grant Delpit, Elijah Benton, Sheldrick Redwine, Montrel Meander, Jovante Moffatt.

Cleveland Browns Depth Chart 2021

Special Teams

Kicker: Cody Parkey.

Punter: Jamie Gillan.

Long Snapper: Charley Hughlett.

Cleveland Browns Depth Chart Analysis

Offense

Quarterbacks

Baker Mayfield took another step in his quarterback play last season, so the Cleveland Browns’ success in 2021 will depend on his continued improvement.

He threw 26 touchdowns and a career-low eight interceptions in 2020, showing a more controlled style of play. The return of OBJ and the powerful running game should help ease the stress on the young quarterback.

Mayfield will be backed up NFL veteran Case Keenum. If the starting QB gets injured, Keenum is an experienced play-caller who could keep the Cleveland Browns in the playoff hunt.

Running backs

The Cleveland Browns have one of the scariest running games in the NFL. Nick Chubb is an elite running back who had another great season last year. He put the team's offense on his back, running for 1,067 yards and 12 TDs.

If Chubb needs a break, the Cleveland Browns could call on the explosive Kareem Hunt. The backup running back will provide Mayfield another passing option out of the backfield, which would be a truly scary running-back combination.

Wide receivers

The return of Odell Beckham Jr. should immediately boost the Cleveland Browns' passing game. OBJ is coming off an ACL tear, so he may not be ready for week one and may need some time to get up to speed. If he can rediscover his past form, the Cleveland Browns will be deadly in offense.

Jarvis Landry had a disappointing 2020 campaign, setting career lows across the board. With OBJ absent last season, opposition defenses could focus on Landry and take him out of games. Landry will look to excel on Beckham Jr.'s return.

The Cleveland Browns brought back Rashard Higgins to back up the two star receivers. Higgins may start the first few weeks till OBJ gets back to full fitness.

Tight ends

Austin Hooper will be the starting tight end for the Cleveland Browns this season. Hooper grabbed 46 receptions for 435 yards and four touchdowns. He will be looking to improve those stats in his second year with the Browns.

Second-year backup tight end Harrison Bryant will also hope to boost his snaps and stats in 2021. He started nine games last season for just 238 yards and three touchdowns.

Offensive tackle

Jedrick Willis had a dominating campaign last year, keeping Baker Mayfield from being hit like in previous seasons. He will want to improve his run blocking, but it's in pass protection where he really excels.

On the other side of scrimmage, Jack Conklin was outstanding, earning All-Pro Team honors last season. Baker Mayfield will now feel more comfortable in the pocket, thanks to Conklin's brilliant tackles blocking for him.

The two starters will be backed up by Chris Hubbard. He is versatile and can play both right guard and tackle.

Offensive guard

Wyatt Teller had a great campaign in 2020, giving up three sacks and called for just five penalties. Teller will be paired with his fellow All-Pro Team guard Joel Bitonio. The two Cleveland Brown players form one of the best offensive guard combinations in the league.

Center

The rock of the Cleveland Browns offensive line, JC Tretter, started every game last season. He provides key experience to one of the NFL’s best offensive lines. Tretter will be backed up by Nick Harris, who appeared in 12 games in 2020.

Cleveland Browns Depth Chart Analysis

Defense

Interior Defensive Line

NFL veterans Sheldon Richardson and Malik Jackson will anchor the Cleveland Browns' defensive line. Richardson recorded 64 tackles, 4.5 sacks, three passes defended and one forced fumble in 2020.

The Cleveland Browns front office signed Malik Jackson to help their defense. Last season, Jackson recorded 28 tackles and 2.5 sacks over 15 games.

Edge

Myles Garrett is the heart of the Cleveland Browns defense. This guy is a beast and had his best season in his brief NFL career last year. He was select to the All-Pro Team after recording 12 sacks and four forced fumbles. Opposing quarterbacks might have nightmares about the Cleveland Browns’ defensive end.

Garrett will be joined this season by the giant Jadeveaon Clowney. The Browns tried to sign Clowney before, but they finally got their man this off-season. Clowney will help take some of the focus off Garrett as he attacks from the opposite edge.

Linebacker

Anthony Walker was another addition to the Cleveland Browns' defense this off-season. The former Colts linebacker has registered over 100 tackles in each of the last two campaigns.

Walker will be joined by rookie Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. The Browns drafted him 52nd overall in this year’s NFL Draft. The rookie, a college standout, will be determined to show that teams were wrong to pass on him.

The Cleveland Browns have decent depth at linebacker in Sione Takitaki, Malcolm Smith and Jacob Phillips.

Cornerback

Star cornerback Denzel Ward will again lead the Cleveland Browns' secondary group. Last season, he allowed the third-lowest passer rating of 64.2. The Browns will hope he can stay injury-free in 2021.

Greedy Williams missed the 2020 season due to injury but will be back to start this year. Veteran Troy Hill will fill in at nickel and provide depth for the starting cornerbacks.

Safety

The Cleveland Browns’ last line of defense will be led by off-season signing John Johnson. The former Rams star safety can play right across the field. That versatility will help shore up the Cleveland Browns’ passing game defense.

Johnson will likely be paired with second-year player Grant Delpit. A rookie, last season, Delpit ruptured his Achilles in preseason training and has yet to take the field.

Meanwhile, Ronnie Harrison Jr. will be the backup and start if Delpit is not ready in week one. He registered 38 tackles and one interception, which he returned for a 47-yard touchdown.


Edited by Bhargav

Quick Links:

More from Sportskeeda
Fetching more content...
Article image

Go to article
App download animated image Get the free App now