Browns draft prospect: Clemson linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, Jr.

The 6-foot linebacker from Clemson could be a great fit for the Cleveland Browns in the 2024 Draft.

Jeremiah Trotter Jr.
Jeremiah Trotter Jr. / Lance King/GettyImages

Next up in our Cleveland Browns draft series is Jeremiah Trotter, Jr., a 6’0, 230 linebacker who helped lead the Clemson Tigers to three straight bowl appearances during his time with the program. Trotter was a four-star recruit out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, ranked the second-best prospect in Pennsylvania and the sixth-overall linebacker in the Nation according to 247Sports, and committed to Clemson in 2019. 

Once at Clemson, Trotter racked up 15 total tackles and one sack through 13 games as a true freshman. The Clemson Tigers finished the 2021 regular season 9-3 and were elected to face off against the Iowa State Cyclones in the Cheez-It Bowl. Trotter recorded four total tackles in Clemson’s 20-13 victory over Iowa State. 

In 2022, Trotter recorded 89 total tackles, 6.5 sacks, one forced fumble, seven passes defended, two interceptions, and one defensive touchdown through 14 games. The Tigers finished the 2022 regular season 11-2 after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels 39-10 in the ACC Championship.

Clemson was elected to face off against the Tennessee Volunteers in the Orange Bowl. Trotter racked up nine total tackles in the Tigers' 31-14 loss to the volunteers. Trotter was named second-team All-America (AP), third-team All-America (Pro Football Focus), and second-team All-ACC (College Football Network, Pro Football Focus, Phil Steele). 

Trotter appeared in 12 games in 2023, recording 88 total tackles, 5.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, seven passes defended, two interceptions, and a defensive touchdown. The Tigers finished the 2023 regular season 8-4 and were elected to face the Kentucky Wildcats in the Gator Bowl. Trotter opted to forego the Gator Bowl and his senior season when he announced he would declare for the 2024 NFL Draft in late November.

His 2023 performance earned him first-team All-America (ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Action Network), second-team All-America (AFCA, AP, Phil Steele, Sporting News, USA Today, The Athletic, Fox Sports, PFF), and first-team All-ACC (AP, Pro Football Focus, Phil Steele, USA Today, College Football Network) honors. 

Trotter Jr’s noted strengths according to Bleacher Report: 

  • Good speed and overall athleticism for the position.
  • Has good eye discipline and reads the quarterback's eyes well in zone coverage to go along with the movement skills to tighten throwing windows.
  • Impressive hand-eye coordination to bat passes at the line of scrimmage or get pass breakups in coverage.
  • Sideline-to-sideline-type range against outside runs with his speed and agility.
  • Can bring the wood when coming downhill.
  • Good blitzer who can contribute as a pass-rusher.

Trotter Jr’s noted weaknesses: 

  • Has a weak base against the run. Struggles to hold ground when taking on blocks from offensive linemen.
  • Likes to duck underneath/avoid blocks in the ground game and will get caught by athletic offensive linemen, leaving his gap open.
  • Will leave his feet and lunge to make open-field tackles, leading to misses.
  • Freezes when reading mesh concepts in coverage and ends up being late to his assignment.

Trotter Jr compared to other 2024 prospects: 

Jeremiah Trotter Jr - Clemson Tigers - 6’0 - 230 lbs

  • 39 Games 
  • 192 Total Tackles (113 Solo - 79 Assisted - 29.5 For Loss) 
  • 13 Sacks 
  • 14 Passes Defended 
  • 4 Interceptions 
  • 2 Defensive Touchdowns
  • 3 Forced Fumbles 

Tommy Eichenberg - Ohio State Buckeyes - 6’2 - 239 lbs 

  • 37 Games 
  • 258 Total Tackles (145 Solo - 113 Assisted - 20.5 For Loss)
  • 3 Sacks
  • 6 Passes Defended
  • 2 Interceptions 
  • 1 Forced Fumble 
  • 1 Fumble Recovery 

Edgerrin Cooper - Texas A&M Aggies - 6’3 - 230 lbs

  • 45 Games 
  • 204 Total Tackles (111 Solo - 93 Assisted - 30.5 For Loss)
  • 8.5 Sacks 
  • 10 Passes Defended
  • 2 Interceptions 
  • 3 Forced Fumbles 
  • 2 Fumble Recoveries 

Payton Wilson - NC State Wolfpack - 6’4 - 238 lbs

  • 46 Games 
  • 402 Total Tackles (202 Solo - 200 Assisted - 48 For Loss)
  • 15 Sacks 
  • 20 Passes Defended
  • 7 Interceptions 
  • 1 Defensive Touchdowns 
  • 1 Forced Fumble
  • 2 Fumble Recoveries 

Junior Colson - Michigan Wolverines - 6’3 - 247 lbs

  • 42 Games
  • 245 Total Tackles (109 Solo - 136 Assisted - 8 For Loss)
  • 2 Sacks
  • 5 Passes Defended
  • 1 Fumble Recoveries 

While Trotter often looks for alternative ways to beat linemen against the run and tries to force athletic plays, his ability to read the quarterback's eyes, drop into coverage, and overall athleticism make him a perfect fit for the Cleveland Browns defense.

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