NFL Draft: 3 linebacker prospects Cleveland Browns should target
By John Suchan
No. 1 Linebacker prospect for Browns: Drew Sanders, Arkansas
Drew Sanders of Arkansas is likely looking at being drafted anywhere from the mid-first round through the second round. A lot of that projection is based on the kid's upside as he's still learning the position, but his 6-foot-5 frame, excellent speed, and overall impressive athleticism at the linebacker and edge positions have NFL scouts salivating at the thoughts of using him on their defenses in a variety of ways.
Sanders started his collegiate career at Alabama after being heavily recruited coming out of high school in Texas. But after two seasons with the Crimson Tide, he decided to transfer over to Arkansas this past season where he was outstanding with his efforts.
He finished with 103 tackles, including 13.5 for losses, had 9.5 sacks forced three fumbles. He was generally everywhere for the Razorback defense as he earned first-team AP All-American honors as well as first-team All-SEC conference honors.
The star of the Razorbacks looks to transition to the NFL and his flexibility to be used not only as a linebacker but potentially out on the edge is a reason to try and draft this youngster as soon as possible. Will he be there for the Browns at No. 42? I'd have to think that will be unlikely, but if he does fall to them, they should draft him immediately.
There are a number of additional good linebacker prospects in this draft class including players like Trenton Simpson from Clemson, Noah Sewell from Oregon, and DeMarvion Overshown of Texas that will be other options for the Browns.
It's been a position on the team that needs to always be strengthened each year because of not finding that right free agent or poorly drafting players in this area in the past.