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The Browns Biggest Need That Nobody is Talking About

Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens

The Browns have talent up front on the defensive line to take up blocks and make plays. Where the Browns lack as that athleticism and instinct at the linebacker position and it has showed. The Browns have a total of 12 sacks on the year. Whitner has a half sack, Kirksey has one, Paul Kruger has a half sack, K’Waun Williams has one and that’s it for non-defensive lineman.

Nine of your twelve sacks this year in a 3-4 defense have come from a defensive lineman which is absurd. That shows me nobody is getting there from the outside either. Kruger has been misused in pass coverage, Barkevious Mingo with as athletic as he is hasn’t done anything and is having a hard time finding the field.

Scott Solomon isn’t the most athletic guy when he was on the field and our second round pick in Nate Orchard has been invisible.

You combine that with Dansby, Robertson, Kirksey, and Tank Carder on the inside who can’t stop the run and suddenly you have a terrible scheme. The defensive line can do their job but if you have nobody to back them up and poor tackling as a team then you are setting up for failure.

The only way to really get these guys is through the draft. There are reasons why teams resign their best players and if they hit the market it’s usually for certain reasons. One of the best indicators for these guys to me has been tackling in college. Let’s investigate some of those top recent defenses:

In 2011, Chris Borland was 9th in the country in tackles, 2012 saw him 60th, and 2013 saw him 38th. He notched over 100 tackles each year and fell to the third round because of his size.

In 2005 Patrick Willis was 11th and 2006 4th. He was a first round pick.

In 2009, Bobby Wagner was 25th, 2010 he was 12th, and 2011 3rd. He was a second round pick.

In 2009 Luke Kuechly was 6th, and was 1st in both 2010 and 2011. He was the 9th overall pick.

In 2004, D’Qwell Jackson was 11th, and 8th in 2005. He was a second round pick and currently leads the NFL in tackles this year. Another mistake the Browns made.

Second in the NFL in tackles this year is Navorro Bowman. In 2008 he was 48th and 2009 91st. He was also a third round pick.

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While a pharmacy major at Toledo by day, Brandon Urasek is now making his mark in the journalism scene specializing in fantasy football and all things Cleveland sports. A five time fantasy football league champ and two time runner-up in ten tries, Brandon strives to help people with their lineups each week in both personal and weekly fantasy leagues in addition to covering the other various Cleveland teams. Follow Brandon on twitter @burasek10



  1. Dave

    October 29, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    That honestly was the best and on point browns article ive read in years. Our linebackers are terrible all cover guys nobody thats going to smack u in the mouth and for sure no sure tacklers and im not talking about 20 yards down the field everyone else in the division gets it ravens draft cj mosley soon as ray lewis retired Pittsburgh draft shazier bengals have burfict all young aggressive lbs we overpay dudes past their primes maybe someone in berea reads this and takes a long hard look at Alabamas Reggie Ragland or Jaylon Smith but like you said it the browns they will find a way to disappoint us once again. Smh

  2. Avaunté

    October 30, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Great article… I have been saying the same for three years ever since lavonte david was drafted. I thought kirksey would be but he has missed a lot of tackles or taken bad angles. What do you think of Darren Lee from Ohio State? He is a sure tackler and is faster than shazier. Maybe undersized but jus what Browns need.

  3. Seth Neale

    October 30, 2015 at 11:20 am

  4. Brandon Urasek

    October 30, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Thank you everyone.
    Avaunte-I wouldnt go as far as to say Lee is a sure tackler. He definitely is a big hitter though. He is undersized and would need to fill in at OLB if we drafted him, most likely on the weak side. He likely will be a late 1st to 2nd round pick so he may not be there and what complicates things the most is that the Browns drafted Orchard to be that same kind of guy last year. I think he only comes into consideration if the Browns move on from Kruger or Mingo.

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