Baker Mayfield: 4 Browns who must step up in absence
No. 3 – Anthony Walker
One of the bigger free agency signings this summer to me was a linebacker, Anthony Walker. He was constantly overshadowed in Indianapolis by Darius Leonard, but he was a tremendous linebacker in his time there.
Walker has already missed three games this season from a hamstring, but he returned in week five vs. the Chargers. In that game, he looked slow, took poor angles, and was taken off the field quite often because of the poor matchups.
He looked much better last week vs. the Cardinals (one of a few on defense), and I think he is finally getting healthy and back to game speed from the hamstring issues.
The Cleveland Browns will really need him to step up over the next few games. With Baker Mayfield out and the offense likely to put up a few fewer points, and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah out as well, Walker is looking at getting a ton of snaps.
His athleticism is not nearly what JOK has, but he can get around the field and just must focus on better angles. The Browns defense will need him to be a force against the run up the middle, but also be good in covering running backs and tight ends slipping out into routes.
For years the Browns have struggled on giving up short passes and long runs after the catch. Walker has to fly around the field and help this defense force a punt on third down, which has been a huge struggle through six weeks of the 2021 season.