Browns Digest Mailbag: What Will Play Out In The Linebacker Room?

A look at a few questions we received as we break them down in part one of the Browns Digest mailbag!
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The Cleveland Browns started off OTA’s this week and many players got back out on the practice field. Including some veterans, rookies and newcomers! Browns Digest will be running weekly, sometimes biweekly mailbag styled articles!

You can send in questions on Twitter to @BrandonLittleSI or to the Browns Digest account @BrownsDigestSI

This week we received multiple questions through direct message and replies. We start it off with a rookie!

What are your feelings on the UCLA running back? Meaning, how do you think the browns will use him? Will he be more of a 3rd down back? Or moved to more receiver?

An ideal case scenario for what Demetric Felton can be with the Browns is a mold of what Duke Johnson was. A capable running back that can get some carries and rather get outside, instead of between the tackles. With Felton’s big play ability he has shown there is the ability to hit the home run at anytime. Getting the rookie in space and letting him work will be huge.

First step for Felton is making the team. He will be in battle for the third running back position with D’Ernest Johnson and there is nothing to say that the team will keep four running backs.

Felton has one thing working for him, his head coach loves creativity. A player like Felton gives you the chance to get creative. Taking snaps with both the receivers and running backs, the rookie will get his chance as long as he earns it. A player that is surely intriguing to this team.

What do you see playing out in the LB room. Seems kinda of crowded, who doesn’t make the 53?

With the team bringing in Anthony Walker as a free agent and drafting Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, a familiar name could be on the way out. Owusu is listed as a linebacker, but likely plays the rover role. The team has Sione Takitaki, a player that has shown promise especially in running downs. Right now the most complete linebacker on the team could be second year man Jacob Phillips.

Phillips was touted as a tackling machine coming out and if he can stay healthy, he may not leave the field often. Cleveland likely will operate with two or less linebackers on the field at a time. Doing this lets them operate the defense they want to and allows for roster flexibility, not having to carry as many linebackers.

Say a player like Mack Wilson who has struggled his first couple of years, doesn’t look good in camp. He could be the guy on the way out. Wilson stands out as the most likely recognizable name that may not make the team. Cleveland re-signed Malcom Smith as well, who played well in spurts last year. Smith making the team isn’t a given, though the team liked him enough to give a second go around.

Who starts opposite of Denzel Ward?

From the moment the Browns placed their first round pick on a cornerback it sparked conversation of who would start opposite of Denzel Ward. Best result here could be the competition that leads to a second starting cornerback being named. The battle between Greg Newsome and Greedy Williams will bring the best out. Right now it is just to early to know much.

Williams struggled with injury and didn’t play last season. Something he wants to bounce back from. Newsome has battled injury in college and something he simply wants to stay away from. Whoever wins that battle, the other will still play a ton for this team and be an important piece of quality depth. As of right now Williams holds the seniority on the team, but he’s just a third year guy who missed a whole season and hasn’t played in Joe Woods’ system.

It is to early to tell who will win this battle. The Browns in the end will be happy with whoever starts. Two talented players that will help better this defense.