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The Browns Biggest Need That Nobody is Talking About

Cleveland Browns v St Louis Rams

Now let’s get into some other guys in the NFL notorious for being top tacklers.

Stephen Tulloch was a fourth round pick. In 2005 he was 12th.

Paul Posluszny in 2005 was 17th and 18th the following year.

James Laurinaitis was 18th, 34th, and 10th from 2006 to 2008 respectively.

Lavonte David was 3rd and 18th his two years at Nebraska before being a second round pick.

I’m not saying that tackling is a sole indicator of how well a player will be because it’s not. Last year Scooby Wright of Arizona led the NCAA and tackles and he will be a good draft pick, but second was Zach Vigil of Utah St. and he has barely hung on as an undrafted linebacker for Miami.

David Mayo of Texas St. was third and he has barely hung on in Carolina despite being a fifth round pick.

2013 saw Keith Smith of San Jose St. lead the country and go undrafted and is currently on the Cowboys practice squad. Jake Doughty of Utah St. also did not get drafted and is currently not on an NFL team.

Ryan Shazier has had success in Pittsburgh and tied with him in tackles was Cody Peterson of Navy who also isn’t in the NFL.

So what is the takeaway here? The takeaway is that a lot of your top tacklers in the NFL were the same way in college. The obvious rhetorical answer is going to be obviously because if they weren’t good in college they wouldn’t get drafted. That is only partially true.

We see guys who have little football experience or played in smaller schools get drafted based on physical traits and potential. When it comes to tackling, not every one of those guys is going to have the traits to make it in the NFL. Among the ones that do have the traits that we are looking for, the ability to tackle has generally translated well.

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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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