This is going to be an interesting situation because there really isn’t any indication which of the four names will play where. It’s assumed that B.J. Goodson is the leading candidate for the middle linebacker spot, with Mack Wilson and Sione Takitaki flanking him at either outside spot, but Wilson could be the middle linebacker as well. Hell, so could Takitaki. Rookie Jacob Phillips could also be in the mix to start at any position.
The likeliest scenario is that the lineup would be Wilson, Goodson, and Takitaki as your starters, with Goodson in the middle, and Phillips getting reps at each spot as the primary backup. He could outplay the others, sure, but it seems likely that the team will give the more seasoned players an opportunity first.
The interesting thing about this position however is at the defensive end spot. Doesn’t make sense when it’s worded like that, does it? Well, hang on. What if the Cleveland Browns actually land the Jaguars’ Yannick Ngakoue, free agent Everson Griffen or fellow free agent Jadeveon Clowney? The team restructured Olivier Vernon’s contract to be a guaranteed, one-year deal. The team wouldn’t just cut Vernon if they got another end, which they’re still actively pursuing. Allegedly.
So what would happen to Vernon? The best idea is that Vernon plays a lot of snaps at a lot of positions. Getting him in at linebacker in certain packages makes a lot of sense, due to his prior experience at linebacker with the New York Giants. Would Vernon taking reps away from a Takitaki, Goodson or Phillips be a bad thing for 2020? Unlikely, especially if Vernon returns to his pre-2019 form.