4 Cleveland Browns who could be unsung heroes in 2024

The Cleveland Browns will rely on their stars in 2024 but these unsung heroes need to rise to the occasion as well.
Cleveland Browns, Cedric Tillman
Cleveland Browns, Cedric Tillman / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 4

2. Jordan Hicks, Linebacker

Anthony Walker, Jr. proved to be a savvy veteran during his tenure but the Browns were ready to move on. They allowed Walker to hit the open market where he signed with the Miami Dolphins. In his place will be Jordan Hicks, a veteran linebacker whose signing didn't gain a lot of attention.

Hicks just turned 32 and has played in the NFL for nine seasons. A third-round pick in 2015 for the Philadelphia Eagles, he worked under Jim Schwartz and even has a Super Bowl ring from their time together.

Early in his career, Hicks struggled with durability, ultimately leading to his departure as a free agent in 2019. He proved he could stay healthy during a three-year stint with the Arizona Cardinals. Hicks then spent the past two years with the Minnesota Vikings and while he missed four games in 2023, that ended a streak of consecutive games going back to his first year with Arizona.

Hicks also recorded at least 100 tackles in each of those campaigns, including a career-high 150 in 2019. For his career, he now has 874 tackles, 14.5 sacks, 49 pass defenses, six forced fumbles, and 13 interceptions. He has a nose for the ball and can help ensure everyone is on the same page due to his experience with Schwartz.

Most importantly, his presence in the middle of the defense will allow Schwartz to move Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah all around the field. The Swiss Army Knife from Notre Dame blossomed into a star in 2023 and will only get better with Hicks as his running mate.