Mack Wilson – Linebacker
While there are concerns about the linebacker position next season in Cleveland, look for Mack Wilson to stand out after a strong rookie campaign. Wilson was thrown into action as a rookie because of injuries and he performed way above expectations for a fifth-round pick. At times Wilson struggled to line up, but with a full offseason to study the playbook, expect big things for Wilson in 2020.
As a rookie in 14 starts, Wilson accumulated 82 tackles to go with one sack and one interception. Wilson is athletic enough to be solid in coverage and has also shown a necessary fearlessness to effectively stuff the run. At times last season, his biggest downfall was falling for play-action and misdirection plays. While this can allow big plays here and there, it’s going to happen with a young kid and Wilson appears fully committed to improving and fixing mistakes.
In 2020, the Browns’ success on defense will be dependent on Wilson having a big year with not a lot of experience behind him. Thankfully, a beefy defensive line should help make life easier in 2020. With a strong pass rush on the edge and run-stuffing defensive tackles inside, offensive linemen will have a tougher time getting to the next level. The fewer blocks Wilson must shed, and the more he can use his athleticism to make plays, the better off the Browns defense will be.
Wilson has been vocal about his frustration that fans are calling the Browns linebackers the weakest in the league. Look for him to play with a major chip on his shoulder in 2020 that will lead to 100 plus tackles and earn the second-year linebacker his first trip to the pro-bowl.