Browns' roster features three QBs, including DeShone Kizer, competing to start

The Cleveland Browns open training camp on July 27 at the team facility in Berea, Ohio. Here's a 53-man roster projection:

QUARTERBACKS (3): Cody Kessler, Brock Osweiler, DeShone Kizer

The annual quarterback competition should finish with the same three players who have been there since spring. The Browns had plenty of chances to sign a veteran in the offseason but didn't, which indicates these are the three they want to go with -- with Kevin Hogan on the practice squad.

RUNNING BACKS (3): Isaiah Crowell, Duke Johnson, Matthew Dayes

Crowell had a strong 2016 season and is playing on a one-year tender that makes this his free-agent year. He will be backed up again by Johnson. Dayes figures to make the team based on his ability and the Browns' belief in their draft picks.

FULLBACK (1): Danny Vitale

He's the only fullback on the roster, so ...

WIDE RECEIVER (6): Kenny Britt, Corey Coleman, Ricardo Louis, Rashard Higgins, Mario Alford, Rannell Hall

It would not be a surprise to see the Browns sign a veteran at some point during the preseason since this group is so green. This projection does not keep Jordan Payton on the roster, but that's because Alford can return kicks and Hall caught head coach Hue Jackson's attention a year ago before missing the 2016 season to injury.

TIGHT END (3): David Njoku, Seth DeValve, Randall Telfer

This is an interesting group. Njoku's physical skills were eye-opening in the offseason, and DeValve showed receiving ability last season. The two could be used in a variety of ways, and if Njoku lives up to his potential, he could be used in roles that essentially make him a fourth receiver. Telfer makes the team because one tight end needs to be able to block.

OFFENSIVE LINE (9): Joe Thomas, Joel Bitonio, JC Tretter, Kevin Zeitler, Shon Coleman, John Greco, Marcus Martin, Spencer Drango, Matt McCants

I do not include Cam Erving. I think when camp is done, his time in Cleveland will have come to an end. The top five are set as long as Bitonio is recovered from Lisfranc surgery before the season opener. Greco stays for his versatility, McCants because he can play tackle.

DEFENSIVE LINE (9): Myles Garrett, Emmanuel Ogbah, Danny Shelton, Desmond Bryant, Caleb Brantley, Larry Ogunjobi, Jamie Meder, Nate Orchard, Carl Nassib

The Browns have done good things with this group, provided Brantley and Ogunjobi can play. If those two come through, and if Garrett lives up to billing, this is a formidable group with lots of possible combinations. Orchard will be intriguing to watch as he moves back to his natural position. It's tough to see defensive coordinator Gregg Williams giving up on a guy with his size and ability.

LINEBACKER (6): Jamie Collins, Chris Kirksey, Tank Carder, Cam Johnson, Dominique Alexander, Joe Schobert

Six linebackers is light, so this projection probably may well change by camp's end. At the moment, it's tough to find seven. Carder's tale is amazing. He's been with the Browns since 2012, putting him third in overall tenure behind Thomas and Joe Haden. With the trade of Demario Davis, he begins camp as the starting middle linebacker.

CORNERBACK (5): Joe Haden, Jamar Taylor, Jason McCourty, Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Trey Caldwell

For now, McCourty will be listed with the corners. But the possibility of pairing his experience and savvy with Jabrill Peppers at safety has to be enticing to the Browns. A secondary of McCourty, Peppers, Haden and Taylor has potential. Howard Wilson's injury opens up a spot for Caldwell.

SAFETY (5): Ed Reynolds II, Jabrill Peppers, Calvin Pryor, Derrick Kindred, Ibraheim Campbell

Reynolds played fairly well last season, so if he's the starter at free safety, the Browns would be comfortable. Whoever plays free safety will have to cover a lot of ground; Peppers figures to play closer to the line. He's not a ball hawk.

SPECIALISTS (3): Zane Gonzalez, Britton Colquitt, Charley Hughlett

Same as it ever was.