Cleveland Browns position battles to watch in 2019 minicamp
Running Back: Nick Chubb vs. Kareem Hunt
As it stands today, Nick Chubb has already won this. Kareem Hunt won’t sniff the field for eight games after his controversial signing.
The two-time Pro Bowl Running back is definitely more accomplished and even raises questions about what John Dorsey thinks of the future of the backfield, so Nick Chubb will need to remind everyone of how powerful and explosive a runner he was last season.
In preseason we’ll get a glimpse of Hunt in a Browns uniform, but is it possible it’s all an audition for another team? Was he only signed to give Dorsey something to trade? Is Nick Chubb not the future at the position we thought he was? So many questions in the running backs room.
Linebacker: Genard Avery vs. Sione Takitaki
When Christian Kirksey went down last season with an injured hamstring, Genard Avery came in an outperformed his fifth-round draft pick status with 4.5 sacks and five tackles for loss. His level of play, mixed with Jamie Collins not playing up to his price tag made Collins expendable and was cut.
The third round pick of Sione Takitaki was met with mixed reactions. He had 15.5 sacks and 35.5 tackles for loss in his career at BYU and tested well at the combine with a 4.63 40-yard-dash and a 37 inch vertical.
He also looks like another “troubled” player John Dorsey seems to gravitate towards like Antonio Callaway and Kareem Hunt. Sione Takitaki has been suspended multiple times in school and was even dismissed from BYU for all of 2016.
Both look like will be the starting SAM/WILL backers outside of Joe Schobert come 2020. Until then, Kirksey will keep his spot on the weak side, so the starting strongside position is up for grabs.
Both are good tacklers and very skillful rushers on the edge. Avery would have the edge right now based on experience but Takitaki is a better athlete with the speed that Cleveland will look to exploit. Either way, expect to see a heavy dose of both this year.