The Browns will likely need to take a linebacker at some point in this year’s draft. Mack Wilson of Alabama is a smaller backer with great closing speed and should be available in the second round with pick number 49.
Competitively he is tough as nails and will lay players out. He is exceptional with the delayed blitz. Did not see the advanced progression from sophomore campaign to his junior season, but is a dynamic defender. Will need to work on recognizing passing downs more quickly in order to get back into coverage situations. He has tremendous upside from a program that annually cranks out superior LBs at the next level.
His weight for a LB might be a question, but the NFL in general appears to be transitioning towards the smaller, quicker linebackers who can shoot gaps and make hits on running downs. In his final season at Alabama he was used predominately at the Mike position but has played on the outside.
The question that looms: are the Browns satisfied with the LBs they currently have especially with the outside backers? For one, Jamie Collins was recently cut. His backups are D’Juan Hines and Xavier
Woodson-Luster. Hines has been on three practice squads and when activated played mainly on special teams with zero starts. Woodson-Luster has 12 total tackles in two seasons with the Raiders, Bills and Browns after spending time on each teams’ practice squad and has been waived four times.
If the answer to that question is yes, then Wilson becomes a starter in waiting and a beast on special teams in the process. If the answer is probably not, then taking the Alabama product in the second-round can only mean one thing and one thing only – the Browns expect him to compete and start for that vacant position.
Weight: 239 pounds
Career Tackles: 71
Career Interceptions: 2
Career Sacks: 1
Career Tackles for Loss: 5
- Second-highest-rated middle LB behind Devin White
- Reads open lanes well
- Played high competition in tough SEC
- Every down player
- Played in three National Championship games
- Quick instincts and athletic
- Has great range
- Very physical player and hard hitter
- Second Team All-SEC 2018
- Lacks the strength to win blocks
- Would need to add bulk at the next level
- Will take out blockers sometimes instead of trying to outmaneuver
- Occasional missed tackles
- Needs to process passing plays sooner
Expert Draft Site Analysis
Mack Wilson is mainly a middle linebacker/3-4 middle linebacker. Unlike Devin White, Devin Bush, and Khalil Hodge who are pure inside linebackers, Wilson is versatile enough to play 4-3 right outside linebacker or 4-3 left outside linebacker. Wilson is the most versatile linebacker in the 2019 NFL Draft despite only having 71 total tackles and 1 sack. He can drop back into coverage and knows how to stop the run. Can even blitz off the edge. Wilson may be best off as a left outside linebacker for that reason.
As a Browns’ fan, would you take Mack Wilson in the second-round and perhaps place him in Collins’ now-vacant LB position?