May 11, 2021

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3 Browns players who could lose playing time for 2021 draft picks

(Photo by Todd Kirkland / Icon Sportswire)

Andrew Berry and his team of Cleveland Browns scouts hit another home run with the 2021 NFL Draft.

Three of their top five picks are considered bargains, if not steals, at their draft positions.

And the rest of the draft class is filled with players who could fill niches in the Browns 2021 game plan.

But there is a limited number of players who can be active every Sunday.

And only 11 can be in the field at the same time.

So if the 2021 Browns draft class is all it’s meant to be, someone’s got to get out of its way.

Here are 3 Browns players who might see less playing time due to the new draft class.

1. Greedy Williams to Greg Newsome II

When Greedy Williams joined the Browns in 2019, he had to book Denzel Ward.

With a pair of man-to-man defenders locked down, the Cleveland defense could take more risks.

But injuries and the lost season under Steve Wilks and Freddie Kitchens have taken Williams’ luster.

The 2019 season also revealed some concerns about Williams’ ability to cover the area.

Williams has yet to play for Joe Woods, but he may have already lost his starting role.

Greg Newsome II wasn’t kidding when he said he was the best corner kick in the draft class.

And there are a lot of analysts who speak as brilliantly about Newsome as they once did about Williams.

There is no incumbent working in Williams’ favor, only a head-on competition for a role in 2021.

2. Mack Wilson to Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah

Mack Wilson and the rest of the Browns linebackers realize Owusu-Koramoah is the best player in the room.

They could have been comforted when commentators said JOK could be more of a security.

But pretty much the entire Browns management team called him a linebacker.

Wilson comes out a year below par eager to show everyone he’s the star Cleveland thought was in another draft.

But the jury is still out on Sione Takitaki and Jacob Phillips, too.

And it’s not just a matter of one or two linebackers fighting for a job.

Joe Woods has announced his intention to use nickel and dime defenses in most situations this season.

With only one or two linebackers on the field at a time, and versatility being key, many could be losers.

3. JoJo Natson to Gregory Schwartz or Demetric Felton

Andrew Berry surprised a lot of people by drafting two wide receivers.

At Schwartz, Cleveland has the fastest man in the NFL, a world-class sprinter with the medals to prove it.

Felton is a running back who rides excellent roads and adapts well to balls in the air.

If any of those rookies prove capable of playing kickoffs and punts safely, JoJo Natson could be out of a job.

Schwartz is the most suspicious, with questions about leadership changes and slow hands.

But Felton looks like Swiss Army Knife player Stefanski can get a lot out of it.

It seems more likely that he could provide a safe enough return option to make the roster.

JoJo Natson never returned a kick for the Cleveland Browns, losing 2020 to injury.

But he could be saved if Stefanski’s analytical mind feels that fending off a proven veteran is too risky.