How are the Cleveland Browns linebacker graded?
The Cleveland Browns linebackers are all graded within the top 48 linebackers in the NFL. Malcolm Smith is ranked 13th overall according to PFF. That made my eyes bug out seeing a linebacker from this team ranked that high after the play witnessed by fans so far this year. What has saved Smith is his above-average ability in coverage and overall lack of snaps.
Smith was the free agent picked up after the Mack Wilson injury. His addition has been a very positive one so far even if it seems situational to passing downs. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. That would be the smart move with Malcolm Smith.
B.J. Goodson is second for the Cleveland Browns linebacking corps, ranked at 35th. Just so happens his best rating is also coverage and he has seen 125 total snaps more than Malcolm Smith. However, when comparing his total coverage grade compared to the rest of the NFL, Goodson is average at best. As a fan, we can only hope to see these grades rise and his play improve because overall, watching Goodson play leaves something to be desired.
Last but not least is, Sione Takitaki. If I was to tell you that Takitaki is ranked as the 10th best linebacker when it comes to run defense, would you believe me? Would you also believe that Joe Schobert is currently ranked 11th? Almost unbelievable isn’t it?
To think that a third-round pick who barely saw the field last year is now graded 10th in the NFL in run defense. Takitaki has already eclipsed his snap count from last year too. Maybe more time on the field has allowed him to get into a rhythm?
All that is represented here is that analytically the Cleveland Browns linebackers have performed in an overall average manner and that’s been enough for this team so far. We’ll see how this week shakes out for them.