The linebacker room of the Cleveland Browns will either be full or empty. Right now, the free agent list includes Anthony Walker, Sione Takitaki, Jordan Kunaszyk, Matthew Adams, and Jacob Phillips. If GM Andrew Berry does not offer any of these players an extension, new bodies will need to come to Berea.
LB J.D. Bertrand – Notre Dame
6’-1”, 233 pounds
Projected round: 4
DBN: How did you find out that you had gotten an invitation to the Senior Bowl?
Mitchell: Earlier one of my coaches had mentioned he thought I was going to get an invitation. I was given it on my way to get something to eat after practice. I was sitting in my car when I opened it. I was super excited. It felt rewarding. There is a sense of thankfulness to those who helped me along my journey.
DBN: What motivates you?
Mitchell: Growing up you have a dream. As I was playing linebacker I would pay attention to the top college linebackers and look to see what they were doing well. You have to be proficient and successful at the college level before you can take on the next level.
DBN: There are about 400 coaches, scouts, and player personnel at practices this week. What are you hoping to show them?
Mitchell: I live, breathe, eat, and sleep football. They will see that I am a football guy. The game is in my dreams. I’m always running through visualizations of punching the ball out and creating turnovers. Or playing man coverage or getting after the quarterback. rushing the passer. I think my football IQ is pretty high. I have versatility and like special teams. I can play as a linebacker in different situations.
DBN: What do you consider is your greatest skill set?
Mitchell: Every down I can be left out on the field. I’m a three-down linebacker. I have a high motor and pour my heart into every snap. That’s how I carry myself. I can run sideline to sideline. I have good speed and love to run and hit. I pride myself on getting to the ball. I can help set up our defense by getting guys in the right position to win games.
DBN: In college, you had a lot of tackles. How are you always around the ball?
Mitchell: I love to watch film. In football, you have to continuously learn. That develops great preparation. There’s always room for growth. Taking that preparation from the classroom to the field is a big thing.
DBN: Is it important for you to start your first year in the NFL?
Mitchell: I want my football IQ and leadership to be very evident right away. I am hopeful I am going to lead guys that I have never played with before. I am going to put in the work and push people. I want to showcase my versatility and do whatever is needed of me. I will compete to play in each game and want to exit each game with a win.