You don’t have to hang around Google too long to find columns indicating that Cleveland Browns LB Mack Wilson is one of the bigger names to appear on the roster bubble.
The Browns have a new, shiny rookie in Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, in addition to second-year linebacker Jacob Phillips expected to take a big step forward in year two. Factor in veteran Malcom Smith and third-year back Sione Takitaki, and you could see how how one might think Wilson’s on the timer.
ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi doesn’t necessarily view that way though, as the long-time Cleveland Browns scribe indicated the 2019 fifth-round pick can have value to the team, even if it’s not in the starting lineup, via TheLandonDemand.com.
"“I don’t think they’ve given up on Mack Wilson. He’s part of that depth at linebacker. Instead of getting an undrafted free agent or a guy they acquire in September, hey if Mack Wilson doesn’t start, that’s a pretty good guy coming off the bench.”"
For instance, Chandler Jones’ name has been thrown about as a trade target of the Browns before the start of the season.
Wilson was mostly unspectacular in his second season, as he was rated as one of the worst graded linebackers by Pro Football Focus, while posting a missed mark of 20.4 percent.
Presumably, veteran free-agent signing Anthony Walker will got the starting nod at middle linebacker, while Takitaki starts on the strong side. Phillips is expected with JOK for the weakside starting spot–the linebacker in the scheme who can roam around and make big impact plays.
For what it’s worth, Grossi predicted that Phillips would win the battle, but Pro Football Focus envisions JOK as the starter.
A player who could truly be on the bubble could be on the other side of the ball. University of Cincinnati offensive tackle James Hudson is drawing rave reviews, which means Chris Hubbard really needs a good camp.
Hubbard finished the 2020 season banged up, and being healthy will be key for the versatile lineman.