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Cleveland Browns Select Jacob Phillips, LB LSU With The 97th Pick

The Cleveland Browns selected Jacob Phillips, LB from LSU with the 97th pick of the NFL Draft, adding a run stopping linebacker to a relatively thin group of linebackers.
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The Cleveland Browns wrap up the day by drafting linebacker Jacob Phillips from LSU, 97th overall. Phillips adds to a linebacking corp that needs help, adding a run stopper to the mix and someone who projects to play at middle linebacker.

Phillips was productive for LSU, he is most effective being utilized as a run stopper, doing his best work going forward and laterally. He's a pretty good athlete but doesn't offer much when it comes to pass coverage and it really doesn't appear the Browns are going to ask him. Phillips projects a run stopping specialist, then gets off the field so the Browns can put in personnel more geared to stop the pass.

It really seems as though inside linebackers are there almost entirely to stop the run and get off the field. By limiting their scope of work, they are hoping to increase their chances of success and put more of the onus on defense with their money players, such as the defensive backs and defensive line.

Phillips is the fourth SEC player, second from LSU and third Tiger in this draft. The Browns have now added a defensive player at each level of the defense. They needed to add a lot of help there, not just for this year, but to contribute beyond and they have added three players to try to address that issue.

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The Browns have three picks remaining in the 2020 NFL Draft, one in the fourth, fifth and sixth. Their seventh rounder was traded to the Saints in that pick swap.