Heading into last season, the Cleveland Browns didn’t have reliable depth at the linebacker spot.
A year later, this roster has too many options that some might not even make the roster.
That being said, the pressure is on for players like Malcolm Smith and Mack Wilson.
Wilson especially needs to step it up after a disappointing season in 2020.
Training camp is going to be possibly a make-or-break for Wilson in Cleveland.
Feeling The Heat
In 2019, the Browns selected Wilson in the fifth-round on the NFL Draft.
He exceeded expectations during his rookie season in Cleveland.
Wilson recorded 82 tackles, one sack, and one interception through 16 games (14 starts) in 2019.
Although, things came to a crashing halt a season later as Wilson failed to follow up his solid play.
It didn’t help that Wilson suffered a knee injury in early September last season.
A 'good development' for Mack Wilson as he continues to recover from knee injury
📰 » https://t.co/fNi7ulpFMh pic.twitter.com/Uo5C5lE0Sk
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 1, 2020
It put the beginning of his season on halt and he was never able to get into a groove.
Since then, the Browns have added a handful of reinforcements to their roster.
Wilson won’t be able to walk into training camp and have a significant role on defense.
He’ll need to prove himself once again and earn his playing time in Cleveland.
A bad showing during training camp could be a kiss of death for Wilson’s career with the Browns.
No Room For Error
As already mentioned, Cleveland made it a focal point to improve on defense this offseason.
They added former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Anthony Walker through free agency.
They resigned Malcolm Smith who placed a significant role on the team last season.
Also, drafting Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah in the second round of the 2020 draft.
With the 52nd pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Browns select LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame#NFLDraft2021 pic.twitter.com/EFNhSq8Vw6
— PFF (@PFF) May 1, 2021
The young Notre Dame linebacker is expected to be a future starter for the Browns in the long term.
Both youngsters Sione Takitaki and Jacob Phillips are expected to have significant roles alongside Walker.
There’s not a lot of room for someone like Wilson on this roster heading into next season.
Everyone seems to have passed him on the depth chart, which is not a good sign.
Wilson is a decent tackler, but has less than desired pass coverage skills.
He certainly has his moments in Cleveland and looked like a future piece during the 2019 season.
Mack Wilson was the best LB I’ve ever seen in college pass coverage wise. pic.twitter.com/IyEgOGUqGd
— ALLGAS TRNG™️⛽️⛽️⛽️ (@ALLGASTRNG) August 9, 2019
Sadly, the Browns have too many bodies and someone must lose playing time.
Wilson is looking like the odd man out, but has a chance to prove himself in training camp.
A solid performance in camp could force the Browns to give him another chance.
Although, a bad showing could be the beginning of the end to his career in Cleveland.
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