This years Browns linebackers may be a little bit spotty with the loss of long time veteran and captain of the Cleveland’s defense in D’Qwell Jackson. Last year Jackson led the team in total tackles with 141, but the Browns have quickly added a veteran in Karlos Dansby to fill the spot. The 11 year vet is looking to bring the same type of defensive skill and leadership Jackson possessed. I’m expecting a big season from Dansby as he is coming off of an outstanding year with the Arizona Cardinals, Dansby posted up a great stat line with 122 total tackles while 114 of them were solo which is something the Browns so desperately need was a player who is a good open field tackler, he also provided 6.5 sacks last year with 4 interceptions. Dansby has shown he can cover ground on zone plays and even keeping up with some of the games most elite Tight ends in man to man schemes. With the addition of Dansby I think its safe to say he will fit in perfectly with his veteran know how and also take some pressure off the secondary with his ability to cover his zones.Browns-Mingo-Football_News

Barkevious Mingo is next on the list and let me tell you its going to be a huge year for the 2nd year player. This preseason he has already picked up a sack and two tackles coming from the outside and I think we can go ahead and say the head office did a great job by taking him out of LSU with the 6th pick in the 2013 draft. Mingo has shown how he can be a dominant outside threat with the ability to get to the quarterback in the blink of an eye and drop down to the flats when needed there is still a lot of potential for this young gun but I expect him to have a massive leap this season and show the NFL what he is all about.

With the advanced threat the defense possesses this year I expect Paul Kruger to get back to the 2012 season he has with Baltimore and have somewhere near 9 sacks on the season Kruger is a very underestimated linebacker for Cleveland but this year could be the year were he becomes animalistic do to the teams around the league ignoring him and allowing him tear up the outside run game and chow down on the opposing quarter back. Keep in eye out for Kruger just like the other teams around the league should be doing as well.

When it comes to Jabaal Sheard I imagine him upping his sacks back to the normal 8 or 9 sacks this season he is coming off of what would be a down year for him with just 5.5 sack, it could also be the fact he missed three games last year but I believe he will be back to the usual tricks in being an outside threat for Cleveland again this year.

Now on to somebody who I expect to have a great rookie year with the Dawg Pound, Chris Kirksey the 6’2kirksey_980_081114” 235 pound linebacker out of Iowa. Kirksey started the final 38 games of his 49-game career at Iowa, finishing 15th in school history with 315 tackles (151 solos), becoming only the third player in Iowa annals to score three defensive touchdowns during a career. Gained 91 yards with two touchdowns via four interception returns and 97 yards on two fumble recoveries that included his third score. He also added 5.5 sacks for minus 40 yards, 13.5 stops for losses of 60 yards and eight QB pressures. Caused five fumbles, recovered seven others and deflected six passes. Needless to say Kirksey can have a huge impact on the Browns season.

Current Browns LB core

59 Carder, Tank LB 6-2 235 25 3 Texas Christian
56 Dansby, Karlos LB 6-3 251 32 11 Auburn
54 Diles, Zac LB 6-0 245 29 8 Kansas State
50 Eubanks, Darius LB 6-2 222 23 2 Georgia Southern
58 Kirksey, Chris LB 6-2 235 21 R Iowa
99 Kruger, Paul LB 6-4 270 28 6 Utah
52 Martin, Eric LB 6-2 250 23 2 Nebraska
43 McSurdy, Caleb LB 6-1 241 24 2 Montana
51 Mingo, Barkevious LB 6-4 240 23 2 LSU
96 Pough, Keith LB 6-2 236 24 1 Howard
53 Robertson, Craig LB 6-1 234 26 3 North Texas
97 Sheard, Jabaal LB 6-3 264 25 4 Pittsburgh
94 Staples, Justin LB 6-4 245 24 1 Illinois
49 Westerman, Jamaal LB 6-2 257 29 6 Rutgers

 

-Cameron T. Lopez (follow me on twitter @CST_Clopez)

 

 

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