In the 2016 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns’ new regime placed an emphasis on college production and character.
One of the prime examples of the new philosophy became a Brown early on the third day of the draft — linebacker Joe Schobert out of Wisconsin.
The fourth round pick looks to fill a gaping hole at linebacker for the Browns following the departure of Karlos Dansby. A reliable, though not flashy player, Schobert can play at both inside and outside backer for the Browns.
DBN: How does Joe Schobert fit with the Browns? Is he a quiet, hard-working kid like the last Joe from Wisconsin the Browns drafted, or a bit different?
BFQ: I think Schobert will be a player that the fans of the Browns will identify with. Much like the city, he's a blue collar, lunch pail type of player. A former walk on at Wisconsin, he was offered the spot one day before he was going to leave to play at North Dakota State, so he's no stranger at making the most of an opportunity. He is a quiet guy, as it pretty well publicized that his roommate, Vince Biegel, was known as a loud, demonstrative leader of the defense, Biegel joked that Schobert was a bit of a "nerd", and that he read Harry Potter books. Schobert won't make a lot of noise, but his play might.
DBN: Talk about Schobert's time at Wisconsin. What kind of impact did he have on the Badger defense?
BFQ: Over the past two seasons, Schobert was a steadying presence on a Badger defense that was very impressive. As a junior, he was rock solid, but far from the game changer he was as a senior. In his senior campaign, he became the featured player on defense, which freed up Biegel to make more plays. Schobert showed up biggest in spotlight, as against Alabama and Iowa he had 5 sacks and caused havoc for opposing tackles.
DBN: How exactly can the Browns best utilize Schobert?
BFQ: Well initially I believe it will be special teams, which should continue to be a bright spot for Schobert throughout his career. Also, I believe he's an inside linebacker in the Browns' scheme, though he can be an edge rusher in sub packages, and is an effective interior rusher as well. While he wasn't as sexy of a selection as Josh Perry would have been, Schobert will likely have a similar role. Schobert is also deceivingly effective in coverage, and it might be his best attribute as a player moving forward.
DBN: What can Browns fans expect from him in his first season?
BFQ: Right away I think he's likely a special teams demon. Probably week 6-7 or so I think he'll start to break the lineup in a rotating role. Truthfully, I don't know if he's a long-term starter at the position, but he'll be a guy who you can play every down, as he can rush the passer and play coverage.
DBN: Here's a fun question for you, following the Cleveland Cavaliers' championship: If Schobert were a player on the Cavs (or in the NBA), who would he be and why?
BFQ: Probably someone like Channing Frye. He's a jack of all trades, but a master of none type. He's pretty steady, and at times will flash, but is usually just a role player who's extremely effective in that role. He'll never be an overly impressive player, but he's definitely good enough to stick around for ten years and have a nice career. Congrats on your championship, by the way. Milwaukee is coming! #Bucksin6
Thanks again to Owen for answering our questions!