Cleveland Browns 2021 NFL Draft Needs: Linebacker
The Cleveland Browns linebacker corps was already looking thin and young this year after letting Joe Schobert go this off-season. The unit was set to be led by second-year player Mack Wilson, but a knee injury in camp has derailed those plans.
As it stands now, the group will be led by another second-year linebacker, but with far less experience, Sione Takitaki. Alongside Takitaki will be rookie Jacob Phillips. Beyond those two, the time on the field is up for grabs between B.J. Goodson and former Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith.
Heading into the season, the Browns’ weakest position group was already linebackers, but the loss of Wilson just made matters worse. For that reason, it could be essential for the Browns to address the position in the 2021 NFL Draft, possibly even in the first round depending on the play of both the linebackers and offensive line.
Luckily for Cleveland, linebackers fall in the draft all the time. Just this year we saw a potential first-round talent in Zack Baun fall to the third round, and past multiple Browns selections. If another player of that quality starts to tumble next year, the Browns should learn from their experience and grab him so they aren’t in a similar situation a year from now.