1. Cleveland Browns could use linebacker Jahlani Tavai
One of the biggest surprises on the Browns initial 53-man roster was the presence of seven linebackers. Many of us who follow the team felt there was going to be a de-emphasis on the position which could lead to them keeping just five — or six at the most — but they decided to start with seven.
Of course, that’s a little misleading. When you look into the roster more, you see both Jacob Phillips and Tony Fields II listed, and each player is currently dealing with an injury. Chances are, they were kept on the 53 in order to move them to IR with the designation to return later in the year. Had the Browns placed them on the IR before roster cut-downs, they would have not been allowed to play at all in 2021.
After this formality, they could be down to five. Now there are two questions to answer — one, will they only keep five? And two, will it be the five originally announced?
Anything I say there is a complete guess, but I feel as though they will be looking to make some moves. There have been whispers about Mack Wilson being dangled in trade talks which could lead to them adding another player, or they might just want six.
Either way, Jahlani Tavai could be worth a look. The 43rd overall second-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Tavai was waived by the Detroit Lions on Tuesday and is now available on waivers.
A product of Hawaii, Tavai has appeared in 31 games with 16 starts. He has 116 tackles, two sacks, and a pick. He hasn’t lived up to his draft status, but then again he was taken far too high to begin with, which may have worked against him.
Perhaps he too can make good on the promise he showed coming into the draft if he is put in a better role (linebacker No. 5 for example) on a new team.