Kyle Lauletta and Davion Davis shine in the first preseason game.
Below, we analyze the snap counts and stats on offense for the Cleveland Browns’ first preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
- Prior to the game, I said that this was a big chance for Kyle Lauletta to get some action on film. I didn’t expect him to look as good as he did. He looked comfortable in the offense, had precision passing, and got rid of the ball before the defense could get to him. It was probably the most surprising performance of the game for me, and PFF liked what they saw too:
The former Richmond Spider averaged more than 9.0 air yards per attempt and totaled more than 70% of his passing yards before the catch. He was far from perfect but still completed 19 of 27 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns — one of which was an impressive toss to third-year Sam Houston product Davion Davis.
- None of the running backs had much of a chance to shine on the ground, but they were involved as receivers in the screen game.
- I mentioned earlier this offseason that Kevin Stefanski should make the fullbacks a little more involved, just to set them up as a potential threat in the back of a defense’s mind. To my surprise, Andy Janovich caught two passes, and Johnny Stanton played running back with 8 touches.
- The Browns utilized Demtric Felton from the slot, and he did a solid job at it. The big question mark is whether you regularly put him in that role on gameday, considering the team also has Rashard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones? PFF says that Felton ran 90% of his routes from the slot:
The former UCLA running back ran more than 90% of his routes from the slot and looked good doing so. He caught four passes for 44 yards, including an impressive 25-yarder, and logged zero drops on the night.
- It’s just one game, but I was very impressed by the performance of Darion Davis. The wide receiver depth is too deep on this team, but if he keeps it up, he should be a prime candidate to make the practice squad.
- JoJo Natson had a loonnnnnnggg punt return that was negated by a penalty. People may discount the return because of that, but if he offers that threat, that’s something that could make him a candidate to crack the final roster again.
- KhaDarel Hodge couldn’t hang on to a touchdown pass that I’d usually expect him to. I don’t think it’ll hurt his status too much — this coaching staff knows what he can do — but given the number of receivers on the team, I’m sure he’s beating himself up over it.
- The Browns suffered their first big injury casualty, as it appears that Stephen Carlson will miss the season with a knee injury, per The OBR. Carlson had been catching the ball well this camp and was nearly a lock to be the fourth tight end again, so that opens up some competition on the back end of the roster.
- Chris Hubbard got a little bit of work to begin the game before being rested.
- In terms of rotation, everything went as expected. Drew Forbes is indeed down on the depth chart after sitting out last year.
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