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Analyzing the Browns rookies: LB Sione Takitaki

We can read all of the draft magazines and in-depth breakdowns we want, and while some are truly fantastic (looking at yours, Dane Brugler), we still won't know a whole lot about the Browns' newest draft class until they take the field in Berea.

In order to pass the time, why not read another breakdown?

I had a chance to watch some cut-ups of Cleveland's draft class this week and took some brief notes. We'll roll these out with one or two per day this week. Next up, BYU linebacker Sione Takitaki.


Name: Sione Takitaki

Position: Linebacker

Age: 23

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 238 lbs

Hometown: Fontana, California

College: BYU

Round selected: Third (80th overall)

View photos of BYU linebacker Sione Takitaki, whom the Browns selected with the 80th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

THE TAPE: Browns assistant general manager Eliot Wolf was not wrong when he said Takitaki plays with violence. He's a wrecking ball all over the field, making for a tough block for opponents, as he arrives with downhill speed nearly every time. One play in particular stood out to me in a game against Wisconsin: Takitaki closed off the edge, blew up a fullback at the knee and made the tackle behind the line of scrimmage for a loss. He has excellent instincts and plays at only one speed: fast. 

Actually, this is the better quote from Wolf: "I start watching the film and I think it was the Wisconsin game, the second game of the year, and this guy is just out there destroying people," he said last week of Takitaki.

"Yeah, I feel like that's the only way to go out there and play," Takitaki said Friday. "I feel like I'm a physical player, I can run sideline to sideline. I'm happy to come and be in Cleveland and happy to contribute to this team."

THE FIELD: It's difficult to judge a defender in a non-padded session, but Takitaki played with the same range you saw on tape. He'll be tough to catch entirely out of position because of that range. What was missing were his high-speed collisions, because again, it was unpadded. We'll get a much better feel for how he plays at the NFL level once the shells come out, where I expect him to shine.

THE FIT: Thanks to his athleticism, versatility and range, Takitaki should fit well in Steve Wilks' defense, which uses interchangeable linebackers. We might have only seen the very beginning of what Takitaki could do, too, because he only played linebacker in college for one season (he also played the position in high school). More experience at the position at an even higher level, with his level of intensity, should produce even better results.