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Browns Player Takeaways Against Eagles

Without the starters playing for the Cleveland Browns against the Philadelphia Eagles, there was plenty to evaluate when it came to players trying to find roles or earn spots on the active roster.
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The Cleveland Browns didn't play their starters in the second preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, allowing some contributors to show their worth and players trying to fight out for a handful of roster spots made their case as to why they should be retained past the second cut down deadline.

The offensive line for the Browns continues to be outstanding. A group that included Alex Taylor, Drew Forbes, Michael Dunn at center, Hjalte Froholdt and James Hudson followed by Ben Petrula at right tackle dominated the Philadelphia Eagles.

Jordan Davis, the Eagles mammoth first round pick was in for 18 snaps at defensive tackle and was a non-factor. Stepping in and trying to make early contributions at that position isn't easy, but the Browns had little issue with the former Georgia Bulldog.

Michael Dunn looked great as a center, a position he's only ever practiced. Dunn came into camp looking to lock down another year as the primary backup guard, but he has all but locked up being the first interior offensive lineman in should the Browns suffer an injury.

Meanwhile, Hjalte Froholdt, the Danish offensive lineman also was effective at both right guard and looked the part at center. He looks like a safe bet to make the active roster to round out the offensive line room should the Browns stick with nine.

Drew Forbes, the former sixth-round pick, missed the entire 2021 season with an injury, is likely on the outside looking in for the Browns, but might have impressed enough to catch on with another team's active roster. Failing that, the Browns would be happy to have him on their practice squad.

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Alex Taylor was in for all of the Browns 72 offensive snaps and he was impressive. The former South Carolina State hooper has completely changed his body in the past few seasons and looks like he's always been a football player. He engulfed and overwhelmed Eagles pass rushers often while being light enough on his feet to get out to block in the running game.

The Browns were showcasing Taylor in an attempt to draw interest from teams that have question marks on their offensive line. With teams like the Chicago Bears, a team Taylor was on briefly, continuing to look shaky up front, the Browns might be able to work a trade. It's just unrealistic to expect that Taylor will somehow get through waivers and end up on the practice squad and the Browns are going to roll with Jedrick Wills, Jack Conklin, Chris Hubbard and James Hudson.

It was nice to see Tony Fields look like the player he was in college. After a nondescript first preseason outing, the second year linebacker sifted through trash and was able to cover ground to make a few stops. The Browns have a several linebackers all likely competing for one spot, so Fields is by no means safe, but he at showed some of the ability that the Browns saw when they decided to draft him in the fifth round.

The linebacker that stood out the most was Jordan Kunazcyk, who has been with the team for 20 minutes. He made several impact tackles in the game. But given that special teams is so critical to the last spots on the roster at linebacker, Dakota Allen and Willie Harvey Jr. continue to be in the mix.

It's a similar situation at corner where the Browns have players like Herb Miller, Shaun Jolly, and Lavert Hill competing for a sixth corner spot. Miller was up and down against the Eagles, but his length is something the Browns covet and he had a chance for a pick six. Jolly is a diminutive slot who has had limited preseason opportunities. Hill's chances took a major as he was continuously torched against the Eagles, though he had good coverage in spots and Deon Cain wouldn't be denied.

With Josh Dobbs likely locking up the backup job to Jacoby Brissett for the first 11 games, the Browns may not have a single active roster spot up for grabs on offense at this point unless they trade Kareem Hunt. If the Browns make a change on that side of the ball, it's likely going to come from outside the current roster. Defensively, the Browns might have as many as four spots up for grabs heading into their final preseason game; one for each position group.