The Wildcard: Anthony Zettel
When released by the Detroit Lions, Anthony Zettel felt like a great addition by the Browns. Zettel was coming off a 2017 campaign in which he had 43 tackles and 6.5 sacks but was apparently not a great fit for the Lions new head coach, Matt Patricia.
With Cleveland, he served as a reserve defensive end but didn’t log as many snaps as he did the season prior. He finished with 14 tackles but no sacks. Still, he had some moments where he showed up on tape.
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The problem is, Zettel is more of an “effort guy” than anything else. He doesn’t have long arms and isn’t overly explosive. Despite those shortcomings, he finds himself in a good spot as one of the few experienced reserves. Should he have a good preseason, he could be a bigger factor in 2019 than he was in his first year in The Land.
Sophomore with a lot to prove: Chad Thomas
Another wildcard this season is Chad Thomas. The third-round pick out of Miami hardly saw the field as a rookie and didn’t record a single statistic. Even with the lack of playing time, general manager John Dorsey has been high on his potential.
There are concerns about the desire that this young man has. He has a budding music career which has some skeptics thinking he’s not worried about being great at football. There’s no reason he can’t shine at both, but until he proves that to be the case he will have his doubters.
With all that being said, this year will be huge for Thomas. While Dorsey will go out on a limb for a player, he also will admit a mistake rather quickly. Should Thomas not prove he’s worthy of a spot this season, he could be in trouble in the near future.