A little background on Joe Schobert: This 23-year-old formerly earned his spot at Wisconsin as a walk-on after receiving no scholarships from any college programs. His work ethic gained him All-American honors in 2015 and the Butkus-Fitzgerald Big Ten Linebacker of the Year Award the same season. He started all 14 games in his junior season collecting 69 tackles, seven passes defended, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He then started all 13 games his senior year as captain amassing 79 tackles, 9.5 sacks and five forced fumbles.
Playing mainly on special teams in his 2016 season with the Browns, he led the team with 14 tackles in that context. He saw his playing time deplete on the defense as the Browns acquired linebacker Jamie Collins in a mid-season trade. But that was in the pre-Gregg Williams scheme of the 3-4 base. With Williams’ 4-3 scheme, Schobert is a natural fit at middle linebacker and Collins moves to strongside linebacker permanently.
Joe Schobert is my sleeper to break out for the Browns as a stud this year. He was already in competition for the starting ‘Mike’ role with Tank Carder, but Carder suffered a season-ending ACL injury in the Browns second preseason game against the Giants. The opportunity window is wide open for Schobert to solidify himself as the premier middle linebacker for the long term this season. It also should be noted that when Joe “The Show” was in against the Giants’ first teamers, he was all over the field making plays.
He also claims to be in the best shape of his life, down 14 pounds from last year. He will be depended on heavily for the Browns defense and have an exponential increase in playing time.
In his 3rd year, Schobert should be ready to step into a leadership role on this young team. All arrows point to him championing the defense. It’s a perfect situation for Joe to be the next Luke Kuechly on the Browns 4-3 and I mean it when I reveal that comparison with the way he has looked in preseason.
Make sure your eyes are fixated on number 53 when the Browns are on defense this year.
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