Going into the 2016 NFL season, the Cleveland Browns had some major question marks. They were coming off a 3-13 season, and former coach Rob Chudzinski had retired, leaving the Browns with a search for another head coach. The Browns looked like, once again, that they would be undergoing a quarterback change.
In addition to what I have listed above, one of the Browns’ biggest question marks heading into the 2016 season was their defense. In 2015, the Browns were third-worst in the NFL in terms of rushing yards allowed and rushing yards allowed per game (2055 and 128.4, respectively).
The Browns needed guys who could tackle. Guys who could disrupt an opposing team’s rushing attack, especially in a league with running backs like LeVeon Bell and Marshawn Lynch. In the 2016 draft, after taking Corey Coleman, Emmanuel Ogbah, Carl Nassib, Shon Coleman, and Cody Kessler, the Browns, with the 99th overall pick in the fourth round, decided to take Joe Schobert, a linebacker out of the University of Wisconsin.
This pick has certainly paid off for the Browns. In the 2017 season, Schobert led the Browns in tackles with 144, one of only two guys to do so on the Browns roster that season (Christian Kirksey). In the Cleveland “Revival” last year, Schobert recorded 103 tackles, one behind team leader Jamie Collins, who is now with the New England Patriots. As I learned from a highlight video I just recently watched, Schobert was on the field for every defensive snap in the 2017 season.
Why is Schobert so effective? He has lightning fast-speed. He has the ability to wrap the opposition up immediately when he tackles them and does not jump at a player’s first move. He is outstanding at shedding blocks. He reads the opposing quarterback’s eyes like his favorite book.
Schobert will look to continue performing at a high level in the upcoming 2019-2010 NFL season, which will be the Browns’ most exciting season in a long time. On the Browns’ front seven, Schobert is joined by returners Myles Garrett, Larry Ogunjobi, Christian Kirksey, and Genard Avery, while newcomers Sheldon Richardson and Olivier Vernon complete the league’s now-most dangerous pass rush.
Schobert is certainly capable of another great season. He will look to anchor his defense for his fourth season as a member of the Browns.
The Browns defense is going to be scary this year.