Cleveland Browns 53-man roster prediction ahead of 2021 training camp
Tough cut: Mack Wilson
It’s safe to say that linebacker again remains the biggest question mark on the entire Cleveland Browns roster. The good news is, they’re vastly improved upon from the 2020 team. This is due to two major additions: Anthony Walker and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.
Walker is a free-agent addition who will become the leader of the unit and JOK is a player they considered in Round 1 but somehow still got in the second. He’s undersized when thinking of traditional NFL linebackers but fits like a glove in today’s pass-happy NFL.
Jacob Phillips enters year two and he has a lot of potential. He showed flashes as a rookie but needs to stay healthy.
Malcolm Smith is there as a veteran piece and is very underrated. The Browns staff trusts him and he decided to come back despite having other offers.
Tony Fields is another rookie to make this team and he joins Sione Takitaki as the final two reserves. Takitaki edges out fellow 2018 draft pick Mack Wilson and the reasoning is simple — Takitaki doesn’t miss nearly as many tackles as Wilson.
In 2019, Wilson missed 13.7 percent of his tackles followed by 20.4 in 2020. Compare that to the 4.5 Takitaki had in 2019 and 5.6 last season and it’s easy to see which one can be counted on to come in and play in a pinch.