Treshaun Hayward, Linebacker, Western Michigan Broncos
Linebacker Treshaun Hayward was named second-team All-American by the Sporting News last season. He was also MAC Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-MAC honoree in 2019. Last season, he had an insane 142 tackles including 11 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. In the MAC, he ranked first in total tackles and tied for 10th in sacks. Nationally, he ranked third in total tackles.
He may be a little bit undersized for the NFL at 6-foot-1 and 225 pounds, but on the other hand, there’s an increasing trend to use hybrid players who almost a strong safety. In that role, Hayward might be a great fit, though he is going to have to work on his pass coverage skills in the pros. Draftek.com ranks him as the number one overall prospect from the MAC.
Sports Illustrated, on the other hand, lists him as the 18th best linebacking prospect for 2020, which would put him roughly in the third or fourth round.
The Browns have let two-star linebackers go in successive years in Jamie Collins and Joe Schobert, apparently reflecting the opinion that the linebacker position is overvalued by the rest of the NFL. Perhaps so, but it may be that the Browns have gone overboard on that point. It may be time to recharge the linebacker corps next year.