Projecting Browns' offensive depth chart: Continuity, depth could unlock full potential

Joel Bitonio will once again anchor the Cleveland Browns' offensive line after reaching a Pro Bowl mark that no Browns guard has done since the 1960s. Matt Starkey/Cleveland Browns via USA TODAY Sports

The NFL draft is over. Free agency virtually too. With the Cleveland Browns' roster mostly settled, here is a projection of where their offensive depth chart stands (starters in bold):

QB: Baker Mayfield, Case Keenum

Mayfield rebounded in a big way in his third season, finishing in the top 10 in QBR before quarterbacking the Browns to their first playoff victory in 26 years. Mayfield finally has continuity around him, which could portend an even better 2021 campaign.

RB: Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt

Chubb and Hunt were an absolute load in 2020 for opposing defenses, ranking fifth and seventh in the league, respectively, in yards after contact per rush. Behind them, it will be interesting to see if D’Ernest Johnson can fend off sixth-round pick Demetric Felton for the role of third back and key returner.

FB: Andy Janovich

Janovich gave the Browns' rushing attack more punch last season, especially in short-yardage and goal-line situations. Janovich was on the field for 380 snaps.

WR: Odell Beckham Jr., Donovan Peoples-Jones OR Anthony Schwartz

WR: Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins

All eyes will be on OBJ in training camp, as he returns from a season-ending knee injury suffered in Week 7 last year. Can he and Mayfield finally find a chemistry through the air? If so, Cleveland’s ceiling will be that much higher. Schwartz, a third-round rookie and former track star, brings the offense some much-needed speed.

TE: Austin Hooper, Harrison Bryant

TE: David Njoku, Stephen Carlson

After temporarily demanding a trade before last season, Njoku seems to be content again alongside Hooper. The Browns had at least two tight ends on the field at least 50% of the time last season. This quartet will be on the field again a lot.

LT: Jedrick Wills Jr., Chris Hubbard

Wills had a terrific rookie season after being drafted 10th overall last year. He ranked ninth among offensive tackles in pass-block win rate, and 45th in run-block win rate. In Wills, the Browns have their franchise blindside protector.

LG: Joel Bitonio, Michael Dunn

Bitonio once again was an anchor, and became the first Browns guard to make three consecutive Pro Bowls since Hall of Famer Gene Hickerson, who blocked for Jim Brown in the 1960s. Dunn filled in admirably in Cleveland’s playoff win over Pittsburgh, when Bitonio had to sit after contracting COVID-19.

C: JC Tretter, Nick Harris

Voted NFLPA president last year, Tretter has started every game for the Browns since joining the franchise in 2017. Harris had to fill in at right guard at times last season but is better suited as Tretter’s backup.

RG: Wyatt Teller, Drew Forbes OR Blake Hance

Teller had a breakout campaign in his first season as a full-time starter, and earned All-Pro honors as a mauling blocking guard. Forbes, who opted out last season due to COVID-19, will have an opportunity to finally earn a spot on the depth chart.

RT: Jack Conklin, Chris Hubbard

Last year’s prized free-agent signing, Conklin earned his money on the way to earning All-Pro honors, as Cleveland featured arguably the league’s most improved offensive line. Hubbard, who played a key sixth-man role up front last season, is on track to return after a season-ending knee injury.