The Browns completed training camp last week with two joint practices against the Eagles, but evaluations are still ongoing across the roster as the Browns inch closer to the Aug. 30 deadline, when they'll have to trim their roster to 53 players.
With five players waived Monday, the Browns sit at 80 players and will have another week of practice and a third preseason game Saturday against the Bears to assess who will stay for Week 1 in Charlotte.
Several players — some of whom were already locks to make the roster — have improved their stock since the first practice in July, so we're looking at which guys have looked best after about a month of practices.
CB Greg Newsome II
Even though Newsome sat out the final week of training camp and missed both joint practices against the Eagles with a hamstring injury, he found a nice groove in training camp and looks ready to conquer whatever role the Browns give him in the secondary.
That might include a larger chunk of time in the slot, where Newsome primarily played in training camp and didn't appear out of place. The position is considered a bit harder to play for cornerbacks since they have to deal with traffic in the middle of the field and can't rely as heavily on safety help, but Newsome showed he has the instincts and quickness to succeed at the position. "Sticky" is a scouting term used to describe a defensive back who stays close to their opponent, and Newsome fit that description throughout camp, batting down a few passes and grabbing a few interceptions.
RB Jerome Ford
With the Browns resting Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in preseason games, Ford, a fifth-round rookie, has received plenty of opportunities and taken advantage of them. He's shown good instincts and an ability to efficiently cut through the first line of the defense and has always displayed a good set of hands as a receiver. He's looked good in preseason games with 19 rushed for 88 yards and eight receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown.
With Ford, the Browns' already-deep running back room looks even deeper, and the Browns have to feel good about the array of versatile options they have that should help the offense operate with QB Jacoby Brissett in the first 11 games of the season.
CB AJ Green
Green looked solid throughout the entirety of training camp and seized the opportunities that came with CB Denzel Ward and Newsome missing practices due to injuries. He primarily played on the second team but performed well as an additional defensive back whenever the defense was in nickel (five DBs) or dime (six DBs) formations.
The Browns are set at the top of their cornerback depth chart with Ward, Newsome and Greedy Williams, but Green, who went undrafted in 2020 but had six pass-breakups and an interception in 12 games last season, can certainly be relied on if injuries arise in the group.
Check out the best photos from the Browns game against the Eagles yesterday by the Browns photo team
DE Isaac Rochell
Rochell, a fifth-year veteran who has had career stops in Los Angeles and Indianapolis, looked particularly good toward the end of training camp and tallied multiple sacks against the Eagles in joint practices. He received more snaps on first and second-team units at the end of camp because Myles Garrett was excused for four practice days due to a personal reason and Chase Winovich (hamstring) was injured, and he followed up the practices with a quarterback hit and a tackle for a loss Sunday in the preseason game.
The Browns are in good shape at defensive end with Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney, Winovich and third-round rookie Alex Wright, but Rochell certainly made a case to be considered for a rotational role after a strong finish to camp.
K Cade York
York's leg strength was on full-display throughout training camp and appears to be what the Browns have been looking for at kicker since Phil Dawson played his final season in Cleveland in 2012. He unofficially missed three of 36 field-goal attempts during field-goal periods in training camp and didn't miss a kick due to a lack of distance. He nailed a 50-yarder in his first game at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday, and missed one from 55-yards, but it had plenty of power — the ball bounced about halfway up the right goal-post.
The Browns couldn't have asked much more of a convincing first training camp from York, a fourth-round rookie from LSU who also won the Maurice Bassett Award voted by local media and given to the most impressive rookie in training camp. The Browns should feel good whenever they need deep kicks from him in the regular season.