When the Cleveland Browns announce their 53 man roster today, likely close to the 4PM deadline, there is likely to be a surprise or two. The health of Duke Johnson and Johnny Manziel will likely play a factor in one or two roster decisions as well. The cutting of both Ishmaa'ily Kitchen and Phil Taylor was a little bit of a surprise, and made room for Jamie Meder to lock up a roster spot.
Yet the Browns still have a lot of talented players that could be cut. A great problem to have, especially considering that many of the players assumed to be on the bubble are very young. With 12 draft picks this year added to their talented draft and undrafted rookie class from last year, the Browns have some tough choices to make.
Here are three players I am pulling for to make the roster today:
E.J. Bibbs - Been on the Bibbs bandwagon since covering the Scrimmage at The Shoe. He is solidly built, has soft hands and quick feet. A great combination for the Browns at tight end, and maybe even some fullback. While many expect that Bibbs will make the roster, that isn't for certain after Rob Housler has started to come on.
Competition for Roster Spot: Housler, Extra Wide Receiver(s)
Hayes Pullard - A Browns draft pick out of USC, Pullard is not certain to make the Browns roster even though he has shown so good talent and leadership so far this off-season. Pullard could be a victim of a numbers crunch but has showed the ability to cover in space but also be strong between the tackles. When the Browns drafted him, it seemed like he was the long term replacement for Karlos Dansby, much like drafting Ibraheim Campbell was the long term replacement for Donte Whitner. I would hate to risk losing him over a slight upgrade on special teams.
Competition for Roster Spot: Tank Carder
Terrelle Pryor - Not really a shock, as many are rooting for Pryor to make the team, but as an analyst I try to take my emotion out of it. Even if Pryor was from Idaho Junior College, he would still be on this list. (I, like many of you bleed Scarlet and Grey on Saturdays). To be clear, Pryor has done nothing to earn this spot. He hasn't played or practiced much in pre-season, he still has development to do and hasn't shown he can stay healthy. Yet Pryor is the upside play that the Browns normally don't take. I would like to see them give a guy with that kind of size, speed and athleticism a year to develop and learn to play. Cut him next year if he doesn't take advantage. (If Josh Gordon returns and Pryor actually gets it, WOW!).
Competition for Roster Spot: Josh Lenz, Marlon Moore, Bibbs, Housler, Extra DL, CB or OL
Those are the three guys I am rooting for to make the roster today, who are yours? Join the conversation in our forums below.