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A young LB becomes available if Browns are interested

With Cleveland dealing with injuries at linebacker, would they “kick the tires” on Mykal Walker after his release by the Falcons?

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Miami Dolphins Training Camp Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns entered training camp with several questions at linebacker.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski and general manager Andrew Berry knew which players were going to be in the mix for playing time, of course, led by Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, so it was more about when Sione Takitaki and Anthony Walker Jr. would be available as both are still recovering from their season-ending injuries in 2022.

The situation became a bit more muddled over the weekend, however, after linebacker Jacob Phillips was lost for the second-consecutive season with a torn pectoral muscle. It is not only another tough break for Phillips but leaves the Browns thinner at the position with the likes of Tony Fields II, Charlie Thomas III, Mohamoud Diabate and Jordan Kunaszyk in line for reps this week during the joint practices with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Unexpected extra practice time is always nice, but Berry and Stefanski, as well as defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, may be interested in bringing in someone with a little more experience, which brings us to Mykal Walker, who was released by the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

Walker played 49 games with the Falcons after being selected in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. That included 12 of his career 20 starts last season, his first as a full-time starter, and Walker posted 107 tackles, a sack, four tackles for loss and a pair of interceptions.

However, the extended playing time did not result in an increase in production, as Walker posted a career-low defensive grade of 58.7 from Pro Football Focus, while his run-defense grade was 56.4 and his pass-coverage grade was a career-low 60.2.

It appears that Walker has not been in Atlanta’s plans during training camp as he has been working behind Kaden Elliss and Troy Anderson at inside linebacker, and the Falcons were also trying him at outside linebacker to see if something would click, according to ESPN’s Michael Rothstein.

Walker’s numbers may not jump off the page, but he is not necessarily worse than what the team currently has in the position group. Walker could be a player that the Browns would “kick the tires on” to see if he has anything to offer while playing in the final year of his rookie contract.