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2019 NFL Draft: Cleveland Browns Pick LB Sione Takitaki at No. 80

Cleveland’s third round pick is a linebacker out of BYU.

NCAA Football: Potato Bowl-Brigham Young vs Western Michigan Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

With the 80th pick of the 2019 NFL Draft in the third round, the Cleveland Browns selected LB Sione Takitaki (6-6, 238 lbs, BYU).

Scouting Reports

Here is a scouting report from CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler, who projected him to be a 6th-round pick.

A two-year starter at BYU, Takitaki started his Cougars’ career as a pass rusher before moving to a stand-up role as a senior, starting the first half of the 2018 season at WILL and the second half at the MIKE position. Needing only one tackle to reach triple digits in the 2018 bowl game, he set a career-best with 19 tackles in his final collegiate game. Takitaki had a tough time living up to the school’s strict honor code, but he credits his wife for turning his life around. While he improved his discipline off the field, his on-field discipline requires maturing, relying more on crazed effort than instincts or technique. Overall, Takitaki has tweener traits that make his scheme fit tough to project at the next level, but he flips a switch and competes with terrific play speed, which will give him a chance to earn a role on special teams while he finds his footing on defense.

Here are some of the things that got Takitaki in trouble earlier in his career:

And here is what Pro Football Focus had to say about him:

An elite athlete with serious potential in coverage, the Browns hope to fill a need to go alongside Joe Schobert in a top tier cover LB. A converted edge defender, Takitaki has excellent run-defense grades with the ability to do it all for the Browns.

-T-No. 29 overall grade in the draft class among linebackers
-T-No. 14 run-defense grade among draft-class linebackers
-T-No. 51 in yards per-snap allowed in coverage
-T-No 5. for most missed tackles among draft-eligible linebackers

How He Fits the Browns

Linebacker was one of the Browns’ top needs heading into the draft. I don’t know anything about Takitaki beyond what I’ve read; I know he wasn’t projected to go anywhere near this high, so I guess it’s moderately surprising that Cleveland didn’t try trading down.

React Now

What do you think, Browns fans?


How do you grade the Cleveland Browns’ selection of LB Sione Takitaki at No. 80 overall?

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