Heading into training camp, it’s worth taking a look at a few IDP position battles that have yet to be resolved. There is potential production available on the waiver wire depending on who wins each role. And knowing who’s competing in each battle will give you a leg-up when injuries inevitably occur.
Cleveland Browns LBs
Gregg Williams doesn’t like to rotate his Linebackers. He picks his favorites, and they stay on the field. All. The. Time. While at the helm of the Rams Defense in 2016, Alec Ogletree and Mark Barron both topped 1,080 snaps on the season. The 3rd LB of their “4-3”, Cory Littleton played 122 defensive snaps on the season. Last year, for the Browns, Christian Kirksey and Joe Schobert each played 1,072 snaps. Jamie Collins played 100% of snaps in the games he was healthy. Kirksey and Schobert both topped 130 total tackles with at least 3.0 sacks. Whoever wins the starting jobs, will be on the field a ton and will produce.
The question now becomes, who will start? Collins will play every snap he’s healthy and available. The assumption was Kirksey and Schobert, of course, would start along with Collins, until Cleveland drafted Genard Avery in the 5th Round and added Mychal Kendricks as a free agent. There was some hype on Avery although it has hopefully dulled with the signing of Kendricks. As a general rule, you’d be successful more often than not if you ignored 5th Round and later LBs.
Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Kendricks will focus on the WILL, where Kirksey played last year. Kirksey could also play the MIKE, so it remains to be seen who will be the odd man out between Kirksey, Schobert, and Kendricks.
Kirksey and Schobert will likely have the lead going into training camp, but watch for Kendricks to potentially snag somebody’s spot.