Cleveland Browns: Way too early 53-man roster prediction
Joe Schobert, Christian Kirksey, Genard Avery, Adarius Taylor, Sione Takitaki, Mack Wilson, Ray Ray Armstrong
Joe Schobert is easily the most popular linebackers on the Browns, which was proven when social media went a little crazy at the notion of him being on the trading block. This was first suggested by MMQB’s Albert Breer, who quickly reiterated that teams were calling about the linebacker, not that Cleveland was looking to move him. He also added that there were no plans to move the Pro Bowler.
Starting alongside him is Christian Kirksey, who had 143 tackles in 2016 and 138 in 2017. He was on his way to becoming one of the more proficient linebackers in the NFL before being injured this past season and he wound up playing in just seven games. Kirksey should start this season, but his job could be in jeopardy long-term.
He signed a lucrative extension in 2017, but that was before Dorsey had taken over and he’s made it a point to revamp the linebacking corps. He already cut Jamie Collins — who also received an extension in 2017 — and looks ready to replace him with Genard Avery. Then again, Avery could play more of an edge defender role given his ability to get after the quarterback.
There are other options as the Browns signed Adarius Taylor from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the offseason and added two more linebackers in the draft. Taylor was a team captain in Tampa and could play a prominent role for Cleveland. As for the rookies, they seem very high on third-round pick Sione Takitaki out of BYU and got a steal with Mack Wilson in the fifth. Finishing things out on this group is Ray-Ray Armstrong, who came over in 2018 after bouncing from team to team before that.