1. Sione Takitaki is one of the most underrated Browns players.
Sione Takitaki is a very strong run-stopper, which is a good thing, given that the defensive tackles were not stopping the run last season. The fact that opponents were held under 5.0 yards per carry last season was a bit of a miracle, substantial credit belongs to Takitaki and the other linebackers as well as the safety help.
Takitaki was drafted in the third round in 2019 and started 29 games in his career. He was not an every-down player but was there when the Browns needed to stop the run. He produced 203 total tackles in 1,321 snaps. Interestingly, the snap-per-tackle ratio - one tackle every 6.51 snaps are exactly the same as Anthony Walker, Jr.
Fans tend to be more interested in the sackmeister-type linebackers and runstoppers like Takitaki are often not as well appreciated as they deserve to be. It will be interesting to see what kind of offers he gets in free agency. Are the general managers like fans, or are they more discerning? Guessing here is that he will receive a better offer from another team, who will see him as more of an every-down player than the Browns saw him.
Still, the Browns front office probably deserves credit for scouting linebackers. If they didn't play Takitaki as much as he and his agent would have liked, it was at least partly because they were successful at finding other linebackers who were very successful. Their front office has had a good hit rate, and their philosophy of not giving megadeals to linebackers has been proven to be correct, at least in their 4-2-5 baseline.
Takitaki's season ended with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear. Depending on the severity of the tear, a comeback could be very likely, but the timing might be difficult. The ACL usually takes a full year of recovery and rehab, although shorter times are sometimes possible.
In addition to these five players mentioned (six if you count JJ3), Chase Winovich has started 11 NFL games and is an excellent pass-rushing defensive end when healthy. Deion Jones started five games at linebacker last season and is a former Pro Bowler, but lost his A-game somewhere along the way. Greedy Williams has started 21 games for the Browns in his career, but had a serious shoulder injury two years ago and it is not clear how much he has left.
The losses are extensive and it is not going to be easy to replace all of these players.