Cleveland Browns: Final roster prediction comes with a few surprises

Cleveland Browns (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Defensive Backs (11)

Athletic, versatile, multiple. That is how the Browns defensive backs could be described. That is also how team sin the NFL would want to describe their defensive backs — but few can.

Denzel Ward has proven that he can play on the outside and he can play on the inside. Ward can go against small fast receivers, and challenge the big, strong wide receivers. Ward made the Pro Bowl as a rookie and made the 2018 NFL All-Rookie Team.

Ward’s top two running mates will be Terrance Mitchell and Greedy Williams. These should be the top 3 guys as far as cornerbacks are concerned. Ward and Mitchell have proven their versatility to play on the inside and the outside. Greedy has all the star potential imaginable for a corner playing on the outside. As soon as Greedy can put it all together, the Browns will be a force to be reckoned with for opposing offenses passing game.

The Browns back-end safeties will be Damarious Randall and Morgan Burnett. The good news? Both will be extremely hungry this year. Randall because this is his contract year. Burnett because he will be out to prove that the was misused in Pittsburgh last year and that he is still a factor in the league. The great news? They are both extremely talented and perfectly suited for their positions.

Randall has shown, throughout his career, that he is a versatile weapon for any defense. He can play deep safety, box safety, inside corner, or outside corner. Randall has matched up well against tight ends and wide receivers. If Randall has the type of year is capable of having, the Browns defense could be the best defense in the league.

TJ Carrie and Eric Murray will get work in the slot game. Murray can also fall back and play safety and is great in zone coverage.

Phillip Gaines and Tavierre Thomas will be core special teams players. Gaines has shown he can step in if the Browns are thin due to injuries, but his career has reached the special teams contributor status. Jermaine Whitehead will also be a core special teams player; however he could carve out a role in the defense if Morgan Burnett or Eric Murray fail to shine in their role.

To begin his career, Sheldrick Redwine will need to shine during his opportunities and perform on special teams.

PREDICTION: Denzel Ward, Terrence Mitchell, Greedy Williams, TJ Carrie, Damarious Randall, Morgan Burnett, Eric Murray, Jermaine Whitehead, Sheldrick Redwine, Tavierre Thomas, Phillip Gaines