The Cleveland Browns have some talent on the reserved/future’s list that really should be given a shot to play in the upcoming 2021 season.
The Browns have several players that are on the reserved/future’s list that could be real starters if given a shot. Think that’s crazy to say? Players can come from anywhere at any time. Adam Thielen was an undrafted free agent from a Minnesota school who took three years to show the Vikings what he was worth. Former four-time Pro Bowler Jeff Garcia didn’t make the NFL until he was 29, didn’t become a full-time starter, and Pro Bowler until 30, and didn’t have his first winning season until he was 31. It’s a similar story for Kurt Warner, who was bagging groceries and playing in the now-defunct Arena Football League.
The basic gist of this is to say that no, NFL scouts aren’t perfect. Yes, there will always be a talent that gets overlooked or isn’t given a chance or is forced into the wrong position. The Browns are no different, they’ve given up or passed by on a lot of guys who could’ve been something. In fact, they have three guys on their roster right now that could be something.
These are three reserved/future’s players who deserve a shot in 2021.
ATH – Johnny Stanton
You may not think much of Johnny Stanton, a practice team fullback, but Stanton may be the most versatile player on the team. He’s big, at 6’2, 225lbs, and runs a 4.74 40-yard-dash. His 37 inch vertical is higher than Jarvis Landry’s and just lower than Odell Beckham’s; by an inch and a half. He’s played quarterback, tight end, fullback, and even linebacker; this is a dude who can play anywhere on the football field and could probably play well if you just used him. Stanton is the type of guy who may be a decent power runner, or maybe a middle linebacker. Heck, if he adds 25 pounds of muscle, he could be a defensive end for the Browns. Stanton is the truest “football player” the Browns have. A positionless athlete, who probably can do some good for the main roster.
WR – Ryan Switzer
Ryan Switzer is nearly as fast as Donovan Peoples-Jones and could add some affordable speed to the Browns receiving corp without having to do much. He was on the practice team in 2020 and was signed to a hefty reserved/futures contract to keep him around for 2021. He’ll make just shy of a million dollars with the new deal. Switzer is a slot receiver, who can beat just about any linebacker or safety deep. He’s more known as a return specialist, but it wouldn’t be the first time a small, speedy wideout did some damage in the passing game. All Switzer needs is a real chance and he may be able to solve the team’s speed issue at receiver.
DB – A.J. Green
A.J. Green got a huge deal for a rookie undrafted free agent, yet he played most of the year with the practice squad and only saw eight total snaps all year. Green was clearly a guy the front office liked but deliberately held him back in favor of Robert Jackson and Tavierre Thomas. Granted, no one thought he was a better option at the time than Terrence Mitchell or Kevin Johnson but Thomas and Jackson? Really? Green was clearly well-liked and the Browns should actually see what he can do in a game. After all, some guys play better than they practice and vice versa.