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2020 NFL Draft

Browns Mailbag: Who's going to be Gary Barnidge's wing man at tight end?

The last time the Browns roster had this many players, we were staring down a preseason Week 2 matchup with the Buffalo Bills.

More players means more potential questions, and we've got a bunch to tackle in this week's 90-man roster edition of the Browns Mailbag.

Anything's possible, and that's not a far-fetched possibility. Just look at last year's initial 53-man roster when the Browns kept -- you guessed it -- four tight ends, as Gary Barnidge, Jim Dray, Rob Housler and E.J. Bibbs made the last cut before the season opener. It should be noted, though, that Housler only made it halfway through the season and Bibbs was inactive more than he wasn't. Randall Telfer was on IR through the whole season.

Before looking at the Browns options at tight end in 2016, it's worth analyzing the makeup of Cincinnati's offense in 2015. That could be pivotal when it comes to projecting the distribution of players and positions on the 2016 Browns offense. When the rosters were trimmed to 53, Cincinnati kept four players who fit into the tight end/H-back mold: Tyler Eifert, Ryan Hewitt, Tyler Kroft and C.J. Uzomah. Three of the four -- Eifert, Hewitt and Kroft -- were regularly active throughout the season, and Eifert wound up in the Pro Bowl. Uzomah appeared in five games.

The Browns enter 2016 with similar levels of experience and skill sets at the tight end position. Barnidge, like Eifert, is the presumed go-to tight end in the passing game after his Pro Bowl 2015 season. Telfer, who missed all of 2015 while recovering from foot surgery, is a big body who can help the Browns as a blocker in the running game and has the ability to make plays in the passing game. He'll be familiar with Cleveland's newest quarterback, former USC teammate Cody Kessler. Bibbs, a former tryout player who made the roster the hard way, flashed some potential as a pass-catcher during the preseason last year and saw spot duty near the end of the year.

And then there's rookie Seth DeValve, whom the Browns coveted because of his mismatch potential. The former Princeton wide receiver can line up anywhere on the field -- outside, slot, backfield. How the fourth-round pick adjusts from the Ivy League to the NFL will determine just how much of a role he'll have on this year's team and will have a big impact on the makeup of Cleveland's tight end room.

Having RGIII and plenty of young wrs, is it possible that coach Jackson may use the spread offense this season? -- Bud S., Portsmouth

Jackson's going to run the offense that best suits the personnel he's working with. That's been a trademark of what he's done in the past and will continue in 2016, as he crafts the game plan alongside associate head coach - offense Pep Hamilton. The team "spread offense" has grown to the point where it's hard to even determine what people mean when they say it. Will the Browns offense look like Baylor's because they now have Robert Griffin III and Corey Coleman? No, but Jackson and Co. will draw up schemes and plays to get the most out of their respective skill sets.

Does the drafting of so many WRs make Terrelle Pryor the odd man out? -- Jerred F., Indiana

The drafting of four receivers elevated the competition inside Cleveland's wide receivers room, and that, of course, includes Pryor. The former quarterback has been impressive in his dedication to learning the position and he has something no other receiver in the room has, measuring out at 6-foot-4 and 233 pounds. The next few months will be pivotal for Pryor and everyone else in the wide receivers room because the competition got ratcheted up in a big way with the injection of young talent.

Did anyone draft LaQuan McGowan? -- Steve D., Tampa

The 6-foot-7, 390-pound former lineman-turned-tight end from Baylor went undrafted and remains a free agent. All three of McGowan's catches at Baylor went for touchdowns.

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