Cleveland Browns Depth Chart 2023: Breaking Down the Browns' Roster

Fact Checked by Wes Roesch

 

PositionStarterSecondThird
QBJoe FlaccoDorian Thompson-RobinsonNone
RBJerome FordKareem HuntPierre Strong Jr.
FBNick HarrisNoneNone
TEDavid NjokuHarrison BryantJordan Akins
WRAmari CooperMarquise GoodwinJames Proche II
WRElijah MooreCedric TillmanDavid Bell
LTGeron ChristianLeroy WatsonNone
LGJoel BitonioNoneNone
CEthan PocicLuke WyplerNone
RGWyatt TellerMichael DunnNone
RTJames Hudson IIINoneNone
DEMyles GarrettOgbo OkoronkwoIsaiah McGuire
DEZa'Darius SmithAlex WrightNone
DTDalvin TomlinsonSiaki IkaNone
DTJordan ElliottShelby HarrisNone
Will LBJeremiah Owusu-KoramoahTony Fields IINone
Mike LBAnthony Walker Jr.Jordan KunaszykMohamoud Diabate
Sam LBSione TakitakiMatthew AdamsNone
CBDenzel WardTony Fields IIKahlef Hailassie
CBGreg NewsomeMartin Emerson Jr.Mike Ford
FSJuan ThornhillRonnie HickmanNone
SSD'Anthony BellDuron HarmonNone
KDustin HopkinsNoneNone
PCorey BojorquezNoneNone
LSCharley HughlettNoneNone
KRPierre Strong Jr.NoneNone
PRJames Proche IINoneNone

Depth Chart Last Verified by Expert: February 23, 2024

Breaking Down the Offense for 2023-24

Browns players huddle
📸 Credit: Thomas Shea (USA TODAY Sports) | Browns QB Deshaun Watson (4) huddles against the Texans in the at NRG Stadium on Dec 4, 2022 in Houston, Texas.

The Browns entered 2023 with perhaps its deepest roster since the franchise returned to Cleveland in 1999, and the results so far this season have showed that they're a team capable of building a playoff run.

The defense is one of the top units in the NFL and has proven it can shut down some of the league's top offenses, which it achieved in a Week 6 win over the 49ers. All-Pro edge rusher Myles Garrett is once again contending for a Defensive Player of the Year Award, while DEs Za'Darius Smith and Ogbo Okoronkwo, DT Dalvin Tomlinson and S Juan Thornhill have all been excellent upgrades.

Big questions remain, however, on offense, where QB Deshaun Watson has battled a shoulder injury. Watson struggled to remain consistent when healthy, and his season ending after Week 10 when it was decided that he needed shoulder surgery. The Browns have still found ways to stay competitive even though they've also been playing without Pro Bowl RB Nick Chubb, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 2.

Below, we break down the depth chart for each position on offense. Players labeled with a ⭐ are the starters.

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Browns QB Depth Chart

QB DepthPlayer
Starter⭐ Joe Flacco
BackupDorian Thompson-Robinson

Who Is QB for the Cleveland Browns?

Joe Flacco is currently the Browns starting quarterback. The team has noted that it plans to use Flacco as the starter moving forward this season.

Who Is the Browns' Backup QB?

Dorian Thompson-Robinson is currently the Browns backup quarterback behind Flacco, as Deshaun Watson is out for the year.

It's been a rocky second year of the Deshaun Watson era in Cleveland — the 28-year-old missed multiple games due to a shoulder injury suffered in Week 3 and has played unevenly when healthy. Watson's season ultimately ended after Week 10 when it was decided that he needed to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. That meant backup QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, a fifth-round rookie, took over as starter. However, after DTR sustained an injury, Joe Flacco became the team's starting QB. 

Browns RB Depth Chart

RB DepthPlayer
Starter⭐ Jerome Ford
BackupKareem Hunt
Third StringPierre Strong Jr.

Who Is the Starting RB for the Browns?

The Browns suffered a tough blow to their RB room when Nick Chubb suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 2. Jerome Ford, a second-year rusher, was next in line for starting duties, and the Browns still shored up their depth by re-signing Kareem Hunt, who had spent the last four years with Cleveland but remained a free agent up until the Browns re-signed him after Chubb's injury.

The run game hasn't been as efficient without Chubb, but they've done enough to prevent it from being a weakness in the offense.

Browns WR Depth Chart

WR DepthPlayer
Starter⭐ Amari Cooper
Starter⭐ Elijah Moore
BackupMarquise Goodwin
BackupDavid Bell
BackupCedric Tillman
BackupJames Proche II

Which WRs Start for Cleveland?

Amari Cooper remains the Browns' most reliable receiver a year after topping 1,000 receiving yards in his first year in Cleveland. Elijah Moore rounds out the starting duo, but both receivers have yet to produce at the level many expected in 2023 — neither player had scored a touchdown in the first seven weeks. Donovan Peoples-Jones was also a major factor on offense before the Browns traded him to the Detroit Lions.

Marquise Goodwin is a speedy 10th-year veteran the Browns added in the offseason who was expected to provide more explosiveness to the offense, but he also has yet to make a big impact and had just three catches following Week 7. Cedric Tillman and David Bell represent third-round picks from the Browns in the last two drafts, but neither player has contributed much yet in the passing game.

Browns TE Depth Chart

TE DepthPlayer
Starter⭐ David Njoku
BackupHarrison Bryant
Third StringJordan Akins

Who Starts at TE for Cleveland?

David Njoku has been a huge asset in the Browns' passing game and has largely been the second-best receiving option to Cooper so far this season, which is what's expected of him after he signed a massive four-year contract extension in 2022.

Jordan Akins was a free-agent addition in the offseason who was projected to carry a decent-sized workload as the No. 2 tight end, but he hasn't been on the field as much as initially expected. Harrison Bryant, a fourth-year tight end, has seen the majority of snaps in the second-string role instead, but hasn't delivered much of an impact as a receiver.

Browns O-Line Depth Chart

OL DepthPlayer
Starter (LT)⭐ Geron Christian
Starter (LG)⭐ Joel Bitonio
Starter (C)⭐ Ethan Pocic
Starter (RG)⭐ Wyatt Teller
Starter (RT)⭐ James Hudson III
Backup (LT)Leroy Watson
Backup (C)Luke Wypler
Backup (RG)Michael Dunn

The Browns faced early injury adversity among their O-Line starters when Jack Conklin suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 1. Fourth-round rookie Dawand Jones has stepped in admirably, however, and has been one of the highest-performing rookie tackles in the league.

The Browns' core offensive line starters have held up well throughout the season and have consistently graded as one of the league's top units.

Breaking Down the Defense for 2023-24

On the defensive side of the ball, All-Pro edge rusher Myles Garrett captains the defensive line, while two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Denzel Ward leads the Browns' young secondary corps. Below, we break down the depth chart for each position on defense.

Browns D-Line Depth Chart

DL DepthPlayer
Starter (DE)⭐ Myles Garrett
Starter (DE)⭐ Za'Darius Smith
Starter (DT)⭐ Dalvin Tomlinson
Starter (DT)⭐ Jordan Elliott
Backup (DE)Ogbo Okoronkwo
Backup (DE)Alex Wright
Backup (DT)Shelby Harris
Third String (DE)Isaiah McGuire
Third String (DT)Siaki Ika

The Browns' defensive line has arguably been the most effective front in the league, and it's all led by Myles Garrett, who appears well on his way to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl season and has delivered game-changing plays in nearly every game. Za'Darius Smith, Dalvin Tomlinson and Jordan Elliott might not have gaudy sack or tackle numbers, but they've certainly helped occupy blockers away from Garrett while still finding ways create splash plays.

Browns LB Depth Chart

LB DepthPlayer
Starter (Weakside LB)⭐ Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
Starter (Middle LB)⭐ Anthony Walker Jr.
Starter (Strongside LB)⭐ Sione Takitaki
Backup (Weakside LB)Tony Fields II
Backup (Middle LB)Jordan Kunaszyk
Backup (Middle LB)Mohamoud Diabate
Backup (Strongside LB)Matthew Adams

The Browns have seen stellar outputs from a linebacker room that was decimated by injuries a year ago. All three of their top starters have done a quality job guarding the middle of the field and serving as run pluggers, which has helped the Browns establish one of the top run defenses in the league. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, in particular, has enjoyed a breakout season, showcasing excellent speed to quickly prevent big plays in the middle of the defense.

Browns CB Depth Chart

CB DepthPlayer
Starter (CB 1)⭐ Denzel Ward
Starter (CB 2)⭐ Greg Newsome II
Backup (CB 2)Martin Emerson Jr.
Third String (CB 1)Cameron Mitchell
Third String (CB 2)Mike Ford
Third String (CB 2)Kahlef Hailassie

The Browns have boasted one of the top cornerback rooms in the league and have seen consistent play all season from their top trio of Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome and Martin Emerson. The Browns have invested heavily in their cornerbacks in recent years, signing Ward to a monster four-year extension in 2022 and spending first- and third-round picks on Newsome and Emerson, respectively. It's paid off well under an extremely efficient, man coverage-friendly system designed by defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Look out for some Ohio sports betting promos to use on props for Ward.

Browns Safety Depth Chart

S DepthPlayer
Starter (SS)⭐ D'Anthony Bell
Starter (FS)⭐ Juan Thornhill
Backup (SS)Duron Harmon
Backup (FS)Ronnie Hickman

The secondary as a whole has been one of the league's best units, and it's back-ended by Grant Delpit and Juan Thornhill, who have each enjoyed productive starts to the season and helped prevent big plays. Rodney McLeod has provided decent depth and veteran leadership as a player who had previously played under Jim Schwartz, while D'Anthony Bell has been a key piece of the Browns' special teams groups.

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Breaking Down the Special Teams for 2023-24

Below, we breakdown the starters on special teams for the Browns:

Browns Special Teams Depth Chart

PositionPlayer
Kicker⭐ Dustin Hopkins
Punter⭐ Corey Bojorquez
Long Snapper⭐ Charley Hughlett
Kick Returner⭐ Pierre Strong Jr.
Punt Returner⭐ James Proche II

Who Is the Browns' Kicker?

The Browns acquired Dustin Hopkins in a trade with the Chargers at the end of the preseason after Cade York, their 2022 fourth-round pick, struggled mightily in the preseason and was released. Hopkins has been a crucial piece of the Browns' early success in 2023 and has connected on all seven of his field-goal attempts of over 50 yards to begin the season. He had missed just two of 18 field-goal attempts heading into Week 8, and he became the first kicker in league history to convert kicks of over 50-yards in five consecutive games when he achieved the feat in Week 7.

Who Is the Browns' Punter?

Bojorquez is in his sixth season in the NFL and second season with the Browns. Bojorquez averaged 41 net yards per punt in his first year with Cleveland, which ranked 20th among 28 punters with 50+ attempts in 2022. Hughlett has been the Browns' long snapper since 2015.

Who Are the Browns' Returners?

The Browns were forced to dig into their returner depth before the season began after Pro Bowl returner Jakeem Grant Sr. suffered a season-ending knee injury in the preseason. Pierre Strong and James Proche II haven't done much with their opportunities, though, as the Browns have largely played without many sparks from their return game.

Breaking Down the Coaches & Front Office

Below, we breakdown the coaches and front office for the Browns:

Cleveland Browns Coaching Staff for 2023-24

RoleCoach
Head CoachKevin Stefanski
Offensive CoordinatorAlex Van Pelt
Defensive CoordinatorJim Schwartz
Running Backs CoachStump Mitchell
Wide Receivers CoachChade O'Shea
Quarterbacks CoachAshton Grant
Offensive Line CoachBill Callahan
Defensive Line CoachBen Bloom
Linebackers CoachJason Tarver
Cornerbacks CoachBrandon Lynch
Safeties CoachEphraim Branda

Who Is the Browns' Head Coach?

Kevin Stefanski is the Browns' head coach after entering his fourth season with the team. Through his first three seasons as head coach, Cleveland has a 26-24 record and has made the playoffs once. Stefanski won 2020 AP NFL Coach of the Year after leading the Browns to a 11-5 record and to their first playoff appearance since 2002.

Who Is the Browns' Offensive Coordinator?

Alex Van Pelt is the offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns. Van Pelt is entering his fourth season as the offensive coordinator for the Browns. Cleveland's offense has averaged 21.2 points per game under Van Pelt since 2020, which ranks 20th among NFL teams during that span.

Who Is the Browns' Defensive Coordinator?

Jim Schwartz is the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns. Schwartz is entering his first season with Cleveland. Schwartz was last a senior defensive assistant with the Titans from 2021-2022. Prior to that, he was the Philadelphia Eagles' defensive coordinator from 2016-2020. The Eagles won Super Bowl LII in the 2017 season with Schwartz as DC.

Who Is the Browns' GM?

Andrew Berry has been the general manager of the Browns since 2020. Since entering the role of Browns GM, Berry as made many notable trades. Here's a list of the some of his notable trades:

  • Traded for QB Deshaun Watson in March 2022: He gave six draft picks, including their first-round picks in 2022, 2023, 2024 to the Texans for Watson.
  • Traded for WR Amari Cooper in March 2022: He gave a 2022 fifth-round pick and swapped sixth-round picks with Cowboys for Cooper.
  • Traded away former #1 overall pick QB Baker Mayfield in July 2022: Cleveland traded Mayfield to the Panthers for a 2024 conditional draft pick.
  • Traded for WR Elijah Moore in March 2023: They sent their 2023 second-rounder to the Jets for Moore and a 2023 third-round pick.
  • Traded for DE Za'Darius Smith in May 2023: They swapped late-round draft picks in 2024 & 2025 with the Vikings for Smith.

Berry also gave Watson the largest fully guaranteed contract in NFL history in March 2022 (5-year, $230 million).

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Browns Depth Chart FAQ

Author

Anthony is an Ohio University graduate who has covered the Cleveland Browns since 2019, starting as a freelance writer for the team website and working most recently as the team’s staff writer until 2023. He is an avid fantasy football player — as well as a golf nerd — and will keep you up to date on all Browns-related betting info this season.

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