Week 1 for the Cleveland Browns is Sunday so today, while the players have the day off, the team released it's "Unofficial" Depth Chart. We have processed all the decisions that led the Browns to their current 53 man roster, now we get some idea about how the team sees their roster as a whole. (The full depth chart picture is at the bottom of this post.)
Time to break down what we can learn from the released chart and what better way to do so than to look at positions:
QB: No surprises here about the order but a little surprising that Johnny Manziel is not noted as injured like other players who have been missing practices. Could mean he really will be ready by Sunday. If not, he will be deactive and Austin Davis will take his place as the Browns backup.
RB: Still only two running backs and only one who can play. We are getting reports that Duke Johnson is not cleared to practice yet but that the team is confident that he will be ready for Sunday. This is shocking for a team that likes to run the ball.
WR: Maybe Dwayne Bowe was on the chopping block. Bowe is listed behind both Brian Hartline and Travis Benjamin at one of the wideout spots. That means he is either the Browns 4th or 5th receiver at this point. Only Terrelle Pryor is certainly behind him. Either, or both, could be inactive Sunday.
TE: The Browns are higher on the other tight ends than may fans are and E.J. Bibbs is likely to be inactive instead, if nothing changes. Surprised to see him last on the depth chart but Pettine always makes rookies earn their way.
OL: With only two backups, it is what we thought it would be. The Browns see Cameron Erving as an interior player and hope that Austin Pasztor can play outside. Andrew McDonald still could be added to the 53 man before Sunday.
DL: No big surprises on the defensive line. A solid group that has been grealty upgraded since last year. That Armonty Bryant is listed here instead of at LB might mean that experiment has ended.
LB: Christian Kirksey is starting, which most wanted last year, while Barkevious Mingo is the backup as he tries to return from his knee injury. Expect to see Scott Solomon only on running downs, which for the Jets could be quite often.
DB: With Charles Gaines Jr. on IR and Pierre Desir hurt, Justin Gilbert gets the call as the team's 4th corner. He is likely to have a role on Special Teams which could keep him active even if Desir is healthy. Besides that, listing Johnson Bademosi as a corner is a little far fetched.
ST: With Marlon Moore struggling with injury, Gilbert could be the Browns kick returner. Most kicks are touchbacks at this point but it could give Gilbert a way to make an impact on the game. Taylor Gabriel returned kicks in college and was very good at it while Tramon Williams is the sure handed (think Jim Leonhard) backup to The Rabbit Travis Benjamin who seems to be back.
Any real surprises to you on the Browns first Regular Season Depth Chart?