Linebacker Sione Takitaki initially looked like a reach as the Cleveland Browns third-round pick. But following a strong, intense start to his rookie training camp, the BYU alum is starting to draw some eyes.
Yes, it’s still very early, but Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey may have gotten another mid-round steal from the NFL Draft process. Dorsey’s penchant for identifying talent has landed him some players with tremendous value, and this season’s draft class is starting to feel like more of the same.
Namely, third-round linebacker Sione Takitaki already looks like the intense, hard-hitting talent that Cleveland sorely needs. The 24-year-old BYU product recorded 119 total tackles, four sacks, and a forced fumble during his final year with the Cougars.
Takitaki is known for his hard-hitting, physical style that made him both a force to be reckoned with and a spark plug in the middle of BYU’s defense. This style has translated to the pros, and even this early in training camp is drawing some eyes from Browns fans and brass alike.
The rookie linebacker has opened up camp strong, especially during 11-on-11 periods. Although it is unlikely for Takitaki to steal a spot from incumbent starters Joe Schobert or Christian Kirksey immediately, he will almost certainly take over by next season.
For now, the Browns need his personality and on-field style as a rotational piece.
Sione Takitaki is the type of talent that the Browns have longed for, both on and off the field. A fantastic tackler who plays with enough reckless abandon to turn heads as early as training camp is the exact sort of shot in the arm that Cleveland’s defense needs.
Expect more of the “junkyard dawg” to keep bleeding into the rest of the defense as Takitaki’s attitude permeates the roster.