BEREA, OHIO - With the announcement of Brock Osweiler as their new starting quarterback, the Cleveland Browns' first unofficial depth chart was the talk of the town at training camp on Monday. After all, it's only a couple of times each year the Browns name a new starting signal-caller.
But beyond Osweiler, who will supplant Cody Kessler in Cleveland's starting lineup for its preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints on Thursday, there wasn't a whole lot to read into when it comes to the Browns' first depth chart. Some of the changes that will inevitably occur between now and their regular season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 10 are already apparent.
Perhaps most notable is Jabrill Peppers' current status as Cleveland's second-team free safety. For a secondary that was so devoid of talent a season ago, it's hard to imagine the Browns' second 2017 first-round pick remaining on the sideline to start the season. Plus, Peppers would seem to project more as a strong safety in new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' defense.
Monday after practice, Browns head coach Hue Jackson confirmed that there's little significance to Peppers' current standing.
“No, I don’t think so," Jackson said. "You have seen all of the different packages that we play in on defense. We move that free safety and strong safety. They are kind of interchangeable. I wouldn’t even read into that at all.”
Also of note was tight end Seth DeValve's inclusion on the Browns' second-team, behind current starter Randall Telfer.
Although Telfer is the more polished blocker, DeValve has been one of Cleveland's most consistent playmakers through the first two weeks of camp. And on an offense otherwise lacking in that department, it's going to be hard to keep DeValve off the field -- especially given the early struggles of first-round pick David Njoku.
Jackson, for his part, insisted Telfer's blocking gives him an advantage over DeValve and Njoku. But the second-year head coach also conceded that doesn't necessarily mean Telfer will be the first tight end on the field.
"As you guys know, we play in a lot of different packages, a lot of different personnel," Jackson said. "I haven’t decided what the first play is going to be so it could be a whole bunch of tight ends out there on the first play. We will see how that all unfolds.”
It's also worth noting that while Peppers and Njoku have yet to crack the starting lineup, the team's No. 1 overall pick, Myles Garrett, is already listed as a first-team defensive end. Peppers, however, does currently rank as both Cleveland's top kick and punt returner.
One way or another, the Browns won't are counting on it not being long until he makes an impact.
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