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NFL Cleveland Browns

Predicting Cleveland Browns’ 53-Man Roster in 2013

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Predicting Cleveland Browns’ 53-Man Roster in 2013

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns are doing their best to make their nickname of “the mistake by the lake” disappear. They added and upgraded their team through both the NFL Draft and in the free agency period. While they might not be knocking on the Super Bowl door just yet, they are making steps in the right direction to head that way. Their biggest problem in their division is that while the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens seem to be on the decline, at the same time the Cincinnati Bengals have become a force to be reckoned with as they have built up their defense and skill positions through the draft.

They have a good receiving corps, an extremely talented and young running back, one of the best offensive lines in the entire league. On defense they have a shutdown cornerback, a developing linebacker corps and a monster clogging nose tackle up the middle. They also gambled early on a potential game changer to create a legitimate pass rush who could unleash mayhem on opposing team’s quarterbacks and blindside tackles, not to mention give offensive coordinators migraines.

Their secondary is vastly underrated as they have one of the best young cornerbacks in the league that can go one on one with the majority of the receivers on an island. Also in their secondary they have a virtually unknown strong safety league-wide who is known well by Browns fans and can bring the hits consistently.

The only real weakness on their team at the moment is their special teams unit as their punter has never officially punted a ball in the NFL and their kicker has been a journeyman around the league as one of their last players cut in training camp quite often.

Here is what the 53-man roster figures to look like for the Cleveland Browns.

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Quarterbacks

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Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterbacks: Brandon Weeden, Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer

The Browns' quarterback situation is a little bit sticky as now second year quarterback Brandon Weeden will be 30 years old at the midpoint of the season. Their backup quarterback is solid, but he might have never recovered from his broken collarbone injury.

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Running Backs

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Running Backs: Trent Richardson, Montario Hardesty and Dion Lewis

Fullback: Owen Marecic

The Cleveland Browns have an excellent feature back who has a great combo of speed and the ability to break tackles consistently. Their depth is a little sketchy, but it isn't horrible. Their fullback can help their great offensive line plow holes for the aforementioned featured back.

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Receivers

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Wide Receivers: Josh Gordon, David Nelson, Greg Little, Davone Bess and Travis Benjamin

Tight Ends: Jordan Cameron and Kellen Davis

The Cleveland Browns have a very good combo of size, speed and heart at wide receiver that can only help Brandon Weeden. Besides the wideouts, their starting tight end could become a developing star if he keeps on getting the ball thrown his way.

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Offensive Linemen

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Tackles: Joe Thomas, Oniel Cousins, Mitchell Schwartz, Rashad Butler and Ryan Miller

Offensive Guards: Shawn Lauvao, Jason Pinkston, John Greco and Jarrod Shaw

Centers: Alex Mack and Braxston Cave

Easily the greatest asset this team possesses, the line should enable them to make Trent Richardson an at least 1,000 yard rusher annually without much trouble. Besides being excellent run blockers, they are also very good at pass blocking, which is rare that a team has a unit that does well in both areas.

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Defensive Linemen

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Ends: Ahtyba Rubin, Billy Winn, Desmond Bryant, John Hughes and Armonty Bryant

Nose Tackles: Phil Taylor and Ishmaa'ily Kitchen

The Cleveland Browns have a nose tackle who can shut down most team's centers and sometimes one of their guards. That being said, he is the only big name for the front three on this defense, and they will need to continue to tack onto this position to have more success against teams.

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Linebackers

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Outside Linebackers: Paul Kruger, Quentin Groves, James-Michael Johnson, Jabaal Sheard and Barkevious Mingo

Inside Linebackers: Craig Robertson, Tank Carder, D'Qwell Jackson and Adrian Moten

This year the Cleveland Browns went shopping for defenders, and they landed Paul Kruger and Quentin Groves in the off-season. Also they landed a player in the first round of the NFL Draft that could be a huge boom pick for them in Barkevious Mingo, and he could obliterate opposing team's quarterbacks if his motor lives up to the hype he created in college.

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Defensive Backs

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Cornerbacks: Joe Haden, Chris Owens, Leon McFadden and Buster Skrine

Free Safeties: Tashaun Gipson and Johnson Bademosi

Strong Safeties: T.J. Ward and Jamoris Slaughter

Joe Haden is easily one of the best defensive backs in the league today. He has an excellent nose for the ball and knows how to pluck it out of the highest point in the air. T.J> Ward is a greatly underrated player who is tough and physical over the middle and makes receivers pay often. The jury is out for now on rookie Leon McFadden, but as they say time will tell.

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Special Teams

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Kicker: Shayne Graham

Punter: Spencer Lanning

Long Snapper: Christian Yount

This could be by far one of the worst special teams units in the entire NFL as Shayne Graham has been on a litany of different teams since coming into the league 12 years ago. As for their punter, Spencer Lanning has never officially punted the ball in the league yet. The worst of all is they let special teams ace return man, Josh Cribbs leave and sign with the Oakland Raiders.