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Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Browns' projected starting lineup

By Jamison Hensley

The AFC North blog will project the starting lineups for every team in the division this week as training camps kick into full gear.

CLEVELAND BROWNS

QB Brandon Weeden: Even though he has yet to be officially named the starter, Weeden has one season to convince the Browns that they don't need to use a first-round pick on a quarterback next year.

RB Trent Richardson: He ran for 950 yards 11 touchdowns when he fought through a rib injury for most of the season. Imagine what he can do when healthy.

RB Chris Ogbonnaya: Considered a third-down back for most of his career, he's received more snaps with the starting group than Owen Marecic, the team's only traditional fullback.

WR Josh Gordon: He has the size (6-foot-3) and playmaking ability (average of 16.1 yards per catch) that teams covet. But a two-game suspension will put Gordon on the sideline and Davone Bess in the starting lineup.

WR Greg Little: Has the potential to develop into a dependable No. 2 receiver.

TE Jordan Cameron: He's a breakthrough candidate this year since the Browns didn't upgrade the position after losing Ben Watson in free agency.

LT Joe Thomas: He's a six-time Pro Bowl player who's played on one winning team.

LG John Greco: Looks like a lock at this spot after signing a five-year, $13.2 million contract earlier this month.

C Alex Mack: He's talented and durable, never missing a game in his four-year career.

RG Shawn Lauvao: He currently has the edge over Jason Pinkston, who missed 10 games last year with a blood clot in his lungs.

RT Mitchell Schwartz: He is expected to take a big step forward this year after finishing his rookie season strong.

DEFENSE

LDT Ahtyba Rubin: It's a comeback year for Rubin, who failed to make the same impact last year as he did in 2011.

NT Phil Taylor: He's a powerful big body who is a good fit at nose tackle because he can hold up against double teams.

RDE Desmond Bryant: The best free-agent addition for the Browns this year will be disruptive up front.

LOLB Paul Kruger: High-priced free agent had 12 sacks in his final 12 games for the Super Bowl champion Ravens.

LILB Craig Robertson: The undrafted rookie from a year ago essentially wins the job by default.

RILB D'Qwell Jackson: The heart of the defense recorded 118 tackles, 3.5 sacks, seven passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one touchdown last season.

ROLB: Jabaal Sheard: While converting from defensive end, Sheard needs to hold off first-round pick Barkevious Mingo.

CB Joe Haden: This could be the year when he goes from being a talented corner to an elite one.

SS T.J. Ward: The hard hitter's biggest challenge is staying healthy for a full season.

FS Tashaun Gipson: The first-year starter is an upgrade over Usama Young, last year's starter.

CB Chris Owens: There's still a chance that rookie third-round pick Leon McFadden will win this job. But, at this point, Owens has the edge.