The Cleveland Browns have had an active week by picking up several new free agents. While they are signing players at a variety of positions, one area of need still remains the linebacking group. They did re-sign linebacker Sione Takitaki, which was a nice move. Takitaki suffered an injury at the close of the last season but should be able to roll in 2023.
Another current free-agent linebacker is Anthony Walker, who was injured for much of last season. We'll have to see if and when Cleveland tries to resign Walker. Outside of those two players, and starting linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, the team still needs to find one or two more linebackers.
One way the Browns can find a new linebacker is through the upcoming NFL Draft in April. They have the No. 42 selection and this linebacking class is pretty deep. Do they select a linebacker as high as this, or do they wait and select a player further down the line?
We'll share a few prospects next that could fill that hole in the defense that seems to always need help. Let's first look at a linebacker that would be available in the mid to late rounds of the draft. We'll finish by discussing a more highly touted linebacker that could still be there for the Browns in the early rounds.
No. 3 Linebacker prospect for Browns: Dorian Williams, Tulane
A later-round prospect that the Browns might consider is Dorian Williams from Tulane. Tulane had a fantastic season where they ended up playing in the Cotton Bowl and beating USC. In that game, Williams had a whopping 17 tackles.
For the season, he finished with 132 tackles, including 8.5 for losses, five sacks, seven pass deflections, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles. He did everything for the Green Wave this past season.
After the NFL Scouting Combine, projections had him as the ninth-best linebacker in this 2023 class. He ran the 40-yard dash at 4.49 seconds. He stands 6-foot-1 and also had an impressive vertical at 33-feet-5-inches Many projections see him as a special team contributor at first and some weakside linebacker duties as he has good speed and a knack for finding the ball.
Williams still has some work to do especially in building up his overall strength to take on NFL competition. However, he was the captain of his college team and an everyday starter at Tulane and has great leadership skills and is considered a good teammate, willing to support his teammates and build his own character. Those are some things that the Browns coaching staff is always looking for in trying to build a better Cleveland team.