4. Jordan Poyer, Free Safety
Poyer has not been named yet as the starting free safety, but it is only a matter of time. He is the favorite to start regularly for the first time in his career.
Poyer has done it all for the Browns. From returning kicks, to playing both safety positions, as well as time at cornerback, Poyer’s versatility is unquestioned.
Now that the Cleveland Browns moved in a different direction, resulting in multiple veterans being released, Poyer’s opportunity has come as a starting defensive back. Entering his fourth NFL season, Poyer is at a make it or break it point in his career.
Should he struggle, his role from last season is likely his ceiling. However, if Poyer excels, then Cleveland has a starting safety for some time (especially after he signs his new deal following the 2016 season).
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Poyer played in 14 games last season for the Browns, starting four of them. In 2015, Poyer had two interceptions (his only two of his career), one fumble recovery, one sack, and 25 tackles.
Up until this point, Poyer was not seen as a true contender to start. However, given the team’s transactions this offseason, in addition to his play last season, he has earned this chance.
In 2016 (as a starter), increasing the total for interceptions may be tough to top. On the other hand, the number of tackles should easily skyrocket from the 25 in 2015.
Next: Talented Offensive Play-Maker