Cleveland Browns are excited about Sione Takitaki
Defense was the primary focus in the 2019 NFL Draft for the Cleveland Browns. One of those selections was Sione Takitaki, who the team is excited about.
When the Cleveland Browns moved up in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft to land Greedy Williams, fans were stoked. No one expected the LSU cornerback to fall as far as he did and cost them a mere fifth-round pick to move up for. As soon as the selection was announced, fans started salivating at the idea of Williams lining up opposite Denzel Ward in the suddenly stacked Cleveland secondary.
After that, the reaction was different to the Browns draft selections. In the third, they picked up BYU linebacker Sione Takitaki and it left most of us wondering what was going on. Sure, Takitaki racked up 119 tackles last season for the Cougars but this seemed like a bit of a reach for him — especially with safeties such as Chauncey Gardner-Johnson there for the taking.
However, the feeling inside the building was much more positive in regards to Takitaki. According to Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com, the scouts absolutely loved the player and felt like waiting wasn’t necessary.
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"“If you like somebody, go get them.” — scouting director Steve Malin per Pluto"
It’s not the first time someone has made such a comment, and it’s true. Good teams build their own draft boards and stick to them. Just because Takitaki isn’t a household name doesn’t mean the pick was bad. It also doesn’t mean it was a reach.
The real problem would have been if the team felt strongly about a player only to wait and end up losing him. That’s why Malin’s quote is perfect. Find the player you like, and go get him. Don’t worry about what the people outside of the organization say, just find the ones who fit your vision. And Takitaki fits this team’s vision on defense.
It’s not just the scouts who are happy about him either. Head coach Freddie Kitchens chimed in and expressed his feelings on Takitaki. Kitchens said he doesn’t miss tackles and is relentless.
"“Has a relentless desire on each play to get to the ball…Does not miss many tackles.” — Kitchens on Takitaki via Pluto"
Cleveland’s linebacker play has been up and down in recent seasons and they could be headed for quite an overhaul. They already released Jamie Collins in the offseason and signed veteran Adarius Taylor.
In the draft, they added Takitaki in the third and later picked up Alabama’s Mack Wilson in the fifth. The Browns addressed defense with the majority of their picks after vastly improving the offense over the past two offseasons. Doing so makes them true contenders in the AFC North.