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Breaking down the Browns' roster position-by-position after the 2021 NFL Draft

With the conclusion of the NFL Draft, the Browns' roster has taken one more giant leap toward completion for 2021.

This season's team looks to be even more complete than the one assembled a years ago — Cleveland returned all of its top offensive starters, and the majority of its offseason resources have been spent on revamping the defense with new players across nearly every position.

Now, each position has clear candidates for dependable starters and a deep pool of players capable of rotational and depth roles.

Here's how the roster shakes out following the draft:


Returning: Baker Mayfield, Case Keenum, Kyle Lauletta

Added in free agency: N/A

Drafted: N/A

Analysis: No changes here, which is a theme that will stay true with nearly every position on the offense. Mayfield is locked in at QB1 after he produced his best NFL season with 3,563 passing yards, 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He'll enter 2021 with the same head coach and offensive coordinator for the first time in his career.


Returning: Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, D'Ernest Johnson, John Kelly

Added in free agency: Tre Harbison (rookie)

Drafted: Demetric Felton

Analysis: Chubb and Hunt, the top catalysts behind the Browns' sixth-ranked rushing attack last season, are setting out to be even better in 2021. Felton was added to the room as a sixth-round pick and has potential as both a receiver and returner. He could compete with Johnson, who handled kick returning duties in the second half of last season, for a backup role.


Returning: Andy Janovich, Johnny Stanton

Added in free agency: N/A

Drafted: N/A

Analysis: The fullback position played a valuable role in head coach Kevin Stefanski's offense last year, and it will again in 2021, which is why the two players at the position last year are back for Year 2.


Returning: Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones, JoJo Natson, KhaDarel Hodge (restricted free agent), Ja'Marcus Bradley, Ryan Switzer, Alexander Hollins, Derrick Willies

Added in free agency: N/A

Drafted: Anthony Schwartz

Analysis: The receivers room was already slated to get better in 2021 with the return of Beckham, who missed nine games last year with a season-ending ACL injury. He, as well as Landry, will be the top two targets again for Mayfield in 2021. The addition of Schwartz, the fastest receiver of the draft class, offers another deep-ball weapon to the group.


Returning: Austin Hooper, David Njoku, Harrison Bryant, Stephen Carlson, Jordan Franks, Kyle Markway

Added in free agency: N/A

Drafted: N/A

Analysis: The Browns' tight ends provided plenty of aid as receivers and blockers last season, and the core four players of the group — Hooper, Njoku, Bryant and Carlson — are back to stabilize the position again.


Returning: Jack Conklin, Jedrick Wills Jr., Chris Hubbard, Alex Taylor

Added in free agency: Greg Senat

Drafted: James Hudson

Analysis: Conklin and Wills are the core of the Browns' future at tackle. Hubbard's 2020 season ended early with an ACL injury, but he should return as a swing tackle candidate next season. Hudson, a fourth-round pick, is a quality developmental piece who could be relied on if injuries affect the position.


Returning: JC Tretter, Nick Harris, Javon Patterson

Added in free agency: N/A

Drafted: N/A

Analysis: Harris proved in Week 15 he was capable of playing guard, too, and is a reliable depth piece for the interior line. Tretter will enter his ninth NFL season and hold down the starting role.


Returning: Joel Bitonio, Wyatt Teller, Drew Forbes, Michael Dunn, Blake Hance, Colby Gossett, Cordel Iwuagwu

Added in free agency: N/A

Drafted: N/A

Analysis: Teller did a masterful job of filling the right guard hole he assumed from Day 1 in 2020 training camp. Forbes and Gossett, who opted out of last season, will be in competition for backup roles with Dunn and Hance, who came up massive for the Browns when injuries hampered the group near the end of last season.

Check out the best photos of the draft in Cleveland by the Browns photo team


Returning: Myles Garrett, Porter Gustin, Curtis Weaver, Joe Jackson, Cameron Malveaux

Added in free agency: Jadeveon Clowney, Takkarist McKinley, Romeo McKnight (rookie)

Drafted: N/A

Analysis: Now we're at the defense, which will have plenty of new faces next season. Clowney, a three-time Pro Bowler, and McKinley, a first-round pick in 2017, will be two of them. Both could potentially star alongside Garrett and give Cleveland one of the best defensive lines in the league.


Returning: Jordan Elliott, Sheldon Day, Andrew Billings

Added in free agency: Malik Jackson, Malik McDowell, Damion Square, Marvin Wilson

Drafted: Tommy Togiai

Analysis: No group will have more competition for a starting role than defensive tackle, which lost its two starters last season in Sheldon Richardson and Larry Ogunjobi. Jackson is the top veteran of the group and is entering his 10th NFL season, while Billings returns after opting out of 2020. Togiai, a fifth-round pick from Ohio State, could find his way into the rotation with a good training camp.


Returning: Jacob Phillips, Sione Takitaki, Mack Wilson, Malcolm Smith, Elijah Lee, Montrel Meander

Added in free agency: Anthony Walker

Drafted: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Tony Fields II

Analysis: Plenty of competition will take place here. Walker appears to be in line for considerable snaps after recording 343 tackles in his first four seasons in Indianapolis. Owusu-Koramoah slipped to the Browns in the second round but could be an immediate impact player in 2021. Phillips, Takitaki and Wilson are three young players who will be given a chance to make a jump.


Returning: Denzel Ward, Greedy Williams, MJ Stewart Jr., Robert Jackson, Brian Allen, A.J. Green

Added in free agency: Troy Hill, Kiondre Thomas, Emmanuel Rugamba

Drafted: Greg Newsome II

Analysis: The Browns addressed the depth issues that arose in this group last season by signing Hill, one of the top defensive backs who hit the free-agent market this offseason, and Newsome, the first-round pick. This group boasts quality starters for both the inside and outside and reliable depth to back them up.


Returning: Ronnie Harrison Jr., Grant Delpit, Sheldrick Redwine, Jovante Moffatt, Elijah Benton

Added in free agency: John Johnson III

Drafted: Richard LeCounte III

Analysis: Cleveland never got to see the talent of Delpit, the 2020 second-round pick who suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in training camp. Now, Delpit is back, and he'll join Harrison and Johnson, the first player the Browns signed in free agency, to complete a versatile and remarkably young safety room.


Returning: K Cody Parkey, P Jamie Gillan, LS Charley Hughlett

Added in free agency: N/A

Draft: N/A

Analysis: Parkey was re-signed after going 11-for-11 on extra points and three-for-three on field goals in the final three games, including postseason. Gillan and Hughlett round out a group that showed the Browns last season they have the most important trait of special teams play: consistency.

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