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NFL Cleveland Browns

2014 Cleveland Browns: Predicting The Final 53-Man Roster

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Cleveland Browns 2014 Season: Predicting the Final 53-Man Roster

Cleveland Browns
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On Monday, the Cleveland Browns cut down their roster to 76 players, and then to 75 players on Tuesday per league rules. The moves the Browns made were not surprising, but Cleveland still has 22 more players to release or send to the practice squad by the beginning of the season, which means tough decisions will be made on those who are on the cusp of making the roster. Here is a look at the potential 53-man roster for the Browns.

Quarterbacks (3)

Brian Hoyer, Johnny Manziel
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterbacks (3)

Brian Hoyer, Johnny Manziel
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Hoyer, Johnny Manziel, Rex Grossman

With the addition of Rex Grossman to the roster, it can be assumed that the Browns will hold on to three quarterbacks on the final roster. Johnny Manziel will be the No. 2 option behind Brian Hoyer to begin the season, while Grossman is more of an extension of the coaching staff both during games and in the quarterback meeting room.

Running Backs (4)

Ben Tate
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Running Backs (4)

Ben Tate
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Ben Tate, Terrance West, Dion Lewis , FB Marqueis Gray

The Browns could potentially hang on to one more back — either Chris Ogbonnaya or undrafted rookie Isaiah Crowell — but three is typically the norm in the NFL. Projected starter Ben Tate is more of balanced back while Terrance West can run inside, and Lewis is considered a pace-changer. Kyle Shanahan typically likes a traditional fullback, but Gray is too versatile to leave off the roster.

Wide Receivers (6)

Josh Gordon
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Wide Receivers (6)

Josh Gordon
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Miles Austin, Nate Burleson, Andrew Hawkins, Travis Benjamin, Willie Snead, Charles Johnson

The Browns will more than likely line up in three-receiver sets with the addition of Hawkins in the slot. If Josh Gordon is suspended, expect Austin and Burleson to start. Benjamin has come on as a receiving threat, but will be mainly used as a return man. Johnson takes the last receiving spot in Gordon's absence.

Tight Ends (3)

Jordan Cameron
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Tight Ends (3)

Jordan Cameron
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Jordan Cameron, Jim Dray, Gary Barnidge

Pro Bowler Cameron will be the top target for Hoyer this season if WR Josh Gordon is suspended. Cameron's ability to make big plays downfield will be a focus for opposing defenses, and should create matchup problems for linebackers covering him. Dray will be used primarily as a blocking TE, and Barnidge can do a little of both, but not at a high level like Cameron or Dray.

Offensive Line (8)

Joe Thomas
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Offensive Line (8)

Joe Thomas
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Joe Thomas, Joel Bitonio, Alex Mack, John Greco, Mitchell Schwartz, Paul McQuistan, Garrett Gilkey, Nick McDonald

Thomas and Mack will be starters as long as they're in a Browns uniform. Schwartz has solidified his starting role, and Greco will more than likely line up on the right side due to Kyle Shanahan's run-first mentality. Bitonio will have to beat out McQuistan for the remaining slot.

Defensive Line (7)

Cleveland Browns Defensive Line
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Defensive Line (7)

Cleveland Browns Defensive Line
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Desmond Bryant, Phil Taylor, Ahtyba Rubin, Billy Winn, John Hughes, Armonty Bryant, Ish'maaily Kitchen

In coach Mike Pettine's 3-4 defense, the Browns will need to have a strong rotation of defensive linemen who are capable of getting to the QB and/or hold off blockers so the linebackers can make plays. This unit has a strong trio of starters with excellent rotational options. Expect LB Jabaal Sheard to line up at DE often.

Linebackers (8)

Paul Kruger
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Linebackers (8)

Paul Kruger
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Jabaal Sheard, Karlos Dansby, Craig Robertson, Paul Kruger, Barkevious Mingo, Chris Kirksey, Zac Diles, Justin Staples

On paper, the Browns' linebackers could be the strongest unit on the team. Outside backers include Kruger and hybrid DE/LB Sheard, who has led the team in sacks the past three seasons. Mingo will fill in when Sheard is along the line. Dansby fills a veteran leadership role left by D'Qwell Jackson.

Defensive Backs (11)

Joe Haden
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Backs (11)

Joe Haden
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Haden, Donte Whitner, Tashaun Gipson, Justin Gilbert, Buster Skrine, Pierre Desir, Leon McFadden, Jim Leonhard, Johnson Bademosi, Isaiah Trufant, Jordan Poyer

The only real question concerning the starters would be the second CB spot. Gilbert and Skrine have fought for the role, but Skrine should be the opening week starter after Gilbert struggled in Week 3. Whitner and Gipson provide great support in both the passing and running game.

Special Teams (3)

Billy Cundiff
Ken Blaze-USA Today Sports

Special Teams (3)

Billy Cundiff
Ken Blaze-USA Today Sports

Billy Cundiff (K), Spencer Lanning (P), Christian Young (LS)

Cundiff and Lanning will get the call once again for the Browns after K/P Jake Rogers was recently cut. Yount has been the team's long snapper since 2011.