The Cleveland Browns added an infusion of talent through free agency and the draft. The linebacker unit still needs help though.
Newly appointed general manager Andrew Berry has done a fantastic job in adding good, young talent to this Cleveland Browns roster. With new weapons on offense for quarterback Baker Mayfield to use at his disposal and quality depth pieces added to the defense, there is still one unit on this team that needs an upgrade.
The linebacker position on this team needs to be upgraded before training camp.
The Browns have added B.J. Goodson via free agency, a quality linebacker from Green Bay but to rely on him to be a three-down linebacker is asking a lot.
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Second-year player Mack Wilson had a terrific season last year for a fifth-round pick. Can he improve his game enough to become a starting-caliber NFL linebacker?
Another second-year player in Sione Takitaki did not impress last year as a third-round selection and banking on him to be a starting linebacker seems desperate at best.
Then there is rookie Jacob Phillips out of LSU. He has some very positive traits and can be worked into the lineup slowly but he was the No. 97 overall pick for a reason. He should not be counted on to become a major contributor so early in his career.
So what does Cleveland do? The obvious answer is to add a veteran stop-gap linebacker or two to get them through the season. And there are a few worthy players to consider.
Former starters include Alec Ogletree, Mark Barron, Clay Matthews, and Nigel Bradham. Any one of these players would add instant credibility to the Browns linebacker unit and could become a day one starter. In Clay Matthews’ case, he would be a valuable weapon as a situational pass rusher to pair with defensive end Myles Garrett.
While this roster is coming together nicely for Andrew Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski, the Browns still need an addition or two to complete this linebackers room.