Cleveland Browns depth chart: QB Baker Mayfield waits his turn

The Browns hope that Baker Mayfield will get a chance to be brought along slowly. Phil Long/AP

With free agency and the draft completed and OTAs and minicamps scheduled for the next month and a half, here's a closer look at the depth chart for the Cleveland Browns, which includes eight new starters from the end of 2017 (projected starters in bold, players listed have the best chance to make the 53-man roster):


Quarterback (4): Tyrod Taylor, Drew Stanton, Baker Mayfield, Joel Stave

This position has undergone a complete overhaul from 2017. Mayfield, the draft's first overall pick, will only play if he forces his way on the field with his performance and production. The Browns want Taylor to be the starter.

Running back (5): Nick Chubb, Duke Johnson Jr., Carlos Hyde, Matthew Dayes, Danny Vitale (fullback)

Chubb is an excellent between-the-tackles runner and should be able to hold off Hyde come training camp. If he doesn't, Hyde starts and Chubb is his backup.

Wide receiver (8): Josh Gordon, Jarvis Landry, Corey Coleman, Ricardo Louis, Rashard Higgins, Jeff Janis, Antonio Callaway, Damion Ratley

Lots to watch here. The Browns figure to give Landry more responsibility as a starter than he had in Miami. Gordon has to stay on the field. Coleman faces a crucial season: Can he live up his first-round billing? And is Callaway's talent worth the character risk the Browns took in drafting him?

Tight end (4): David Njoku, Seth DeValve, Darren Fells

The Browns have high hopes for Njoku as he enters his second season. The addition of Fells made Randall Telfer expendable via trade.

Tackle (6): Shon Coleman, Chris Hubbard, Austin Corbett, Spencer Drango, Roderick Johnson, Donald Stephenson

Coleman is listed as the starter, for now. Look for Corbett to give him all he can handle as he works to win the starting job.

Guard (3): Joel Bitonio, Kevin Zeitler, Geoff Gray

For the first time, the Browns have acknowledged that it's possible Bitonio could move to left tackle. That's a long shot, though, and would happen only if a player such as Corbett or Gray shows he is better at guard than the options the Browns have at left tackle. For now, Bitonio starts at guard. Three is light for a guard, so a player who can play tackle and guard gains credibility.

Center (2): JC Tretter, Austin Reiter

The Browns were impressed with Reiter's limited work in 2016 before he hurt his knee. They also gave a healthy free-agent contract to Tretter in the spring of 2017.


Cornerback (10): Denzel Ward, TJ Carrie, Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Justin Currie, E.J. Gaines, Mike Jordan, Terrance Mitchell, Jamar Taylor, Simeon Thomas, Howard Wilson

The Browns want Ward to start so badly he'll have to lose the opportunity. The second starter is anyone's guess; several players will compete for the spot, but Carrie's contract (four years, $35 million) pays him like a starter.

Safety (4): Damarious Randall, Jabrill Peppers, Derrick Kindred, Derron Smith

The addition of Randall allows Peppers to play closer to the line than he did as a rookie. That should help the secondary, and the defense.

Linebacker (8): Jamie Collins Sr., Joe Schobert, Christian Kirksey, Genard Avery, Dominique Alexander, B.J. Bello, James Burgess Jr., Tank Carder

Keeping Collins healthy is key. When he was on the field for a brief few minutes with Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah, the defensive pressure was eye-opening.

Defensive line (9): Garrett, Ogbah, Larry Ogunjobi, Trevon Coley, Caleb Brantley, Jamie Meder, Nate Orchard, Chris Smith, Chad Thomas, Dadi Nicolas

The tackle situation has to sort itself out, but in Garrett and Ogbah the Browns have two active, aggressive ends who one day will both be in Pro Bowls.


Punter (1): Britton Colquitt

Colquitt will be the punter, barring injury.

Kicker (1): Zane Gonzalez

Gonzalez had some shaky spots as rookie, but figures to improve in his second season.

Long-snapper (1): Charley Hughlett

Not much to discuss here. Hughlett is as reliable as they come.

Kick returner (3): Callaway, Peppers, Dayes

The Browns need to get more big plays in this facet of the game -- provided the NFL doesn't take drastic action and eliminate the kickoff. Dayes was very effective late in the season; his ability with returns could help him make the team.

Punt returner (1): Peppers

Peppers was outstanding in college bringing back punts. Not so much as a rookie with the Browns.