In a 3-4 defensive scheme, linebackers are the most important part. The good thing is the Cleveland Browns have plenty of them. Here is a look at the linebacker position.
Led by veteran D’Qwell Jackson, the Browns have a nice mixture of experienced and young players. The addition of Barkevious Mingo could pay dividends by the end of the year and the Browns seem very happy with Jabaal Sheard‘s transition to outside linebacker.
By adding Paul Kruger, the Browns have bolstered their pass rush for this season. Let’s just hope that Kruger was not a product of a great system in Baltimore and that he will produce here. The Browns desperately need someone to emerge as a sack specialist.
There are a plethora of linebackers that will be on the bubble. Craig Robertson, James-Michael Johnson, Adrian Moten, LJ Fort, and Tank Carder are among those guys. Robertson, a fan favorite, played great under the circumstances recording 93 tackles, two interceptions, and a sack in 2012. JMJ missed most of last season with an injury and will need to play lights out in camp and the pre-season to make the team. In this new regime, that fact that he was drafted in the fourth round does not matter.
While I like Fort and what he did in limited time last year, I would love him more if he would have hung on to that interception in the fourth quarter of the season opener last year. Moten and Carder are nothing more than special team players that will have a small window of making the team.
Projected Starters: Paul Kruger, D’Qwell Jackson, Quentin Groves, Jabaal Sheard
Ryan Ruiz is the Cleveland Browns Beat Writer for The Inscriber: Digital Magazine. You can follow him on Facebook: Ryan Ruiz (BrownsWriter) and Twitter @ryanpruiz24