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Browns scouts Josh Cox, Matt Donahoe break down LB Mack Wilson, K Austin Seibert - Press Conference

Scouts Josh Cox and Matt Donahoe:

On LB Mack Wilson:

Donahoe: “Mack was a very talented player even in high school. Obviously, he went to the University of Alabama. He was a special teams rotational guy early in his career. This past year was his first year starting. Obviously, Mack has played against some of the best players in the country and started in one of the better defenses in the country. The nice thing about him is that he really only started one year so I think there is room for him to grow and still develop as a player. As far as a person, this guy is just going to come in and compete. He is going to learn from some of the older guys here and learn from our coaches and some of the other linebackers and see him just continue to grow as a player.”

On if there is a profile for particular traits of LBs when studying players:

Donahoe: “We kind of have our guidelines for each position. Obviously, now and the way the NFL is going speed is the big part of any position on defense, but that is not to say guys that don’t have some athletic traits can’t play. It is just different player to player. Just try to find the good in each player. They all have some sort of limitation. Making sure if they do have a limitation, if they are OK with that and some of their other skillsets overcome those limitations.”

On if Wilson fits in with desire for speed at LB in this system:

Donahoe: “Mack can run sideline to sideline. He has made some run-and-chase plays. Like I said, he played special teams early in his career so he will be able to do that. Obviously, the coaches can decide where is best for him to play, but I don’t see why he can’t play multiple positions. I think he is smart enough. I think he is athletic enough. He has made plays in coverage at his time at Alabama. He was just a one-year starter there, so like I said, I think there is a ceiling there. Just like all these guys come in, they have to develop something. Experience is so important in anything.”

On if Wilson may not quite be NFL ready, given multiple references to starting one year:

Donahoe: “No, not at all. A program like Alabama, they bring guys in every year. It is a program where guys go in and compete year in and year out, no matter if they are freshmen, sophomores, juniors or seniors. They have had some linebackers throughout the years. I don’t think it’s a knock on Mack. I just think he has also seen guys that have had come through there and have been successful too. I think that’s a positive as well.”

On if K Austin Seibert is strictly a place kicker:

Cox: “He can do field goals, he can do kickoffs and in emergency situations, he can be a punter for you, too. I do think field goal kicking and kickoff is his best two attributes and probably where he is best suited going forward.”

On if the Browns have someone who is focused on evaluating Ks and the difference scouting the position:

Cox: “I think really the big thing is just getting training on each position. Most people on the outside don’t really think about kickers so they are not watching them like we are. We are watching kickers like we are every other position, getting trained up on them like every other position. He is a guy who is actually pretty technically sound. He has a good short approach, keeps his head down. He is a good kicker.”

On what stands out about Seibert:

Cox: “I think the three big things about him is that he had an extraordinary product career, also has a huge leg and he is very, very competitive. It is a young career for me, but I haven’t seen a kicker as competitive as he is.”

On Seibert’s career-long FG of 42 yards:

Cox: “When you go to practice or you go to Pro Days, they are going to work them out at further distances. There is a sound that the ball will make when it is coming off their foot if they have a really strong leg. He has a cannon. I’m not worried about it at all.”

On competitiveness helping in pressure situations:

Cox: “I think it is just something that kind of helps you in all aspects of being an NFL football player. It is going to help you prepare better. It is going to make you want it. You are going to want to succeed so I think it is going to help you through those pressured situations and those big time moments.”

On if the Browns plan was to draft a K today:

Cox: “Oh no, you never go in saying that you want to attack this position. It is all about the player.”

On why Wilson may have fallen in the draft:

Donahoe: “Sometimes things just happen that way. There is not really a definite answer. You just hope no matter what player it is if he is there and you think it is a good value however the board falls, I think you take a chance at that point. We liked Mack as a football player, and we were lucky enough to get him in the fifth round.”

On Wilson’s interceptions:

Donahoe: “He can play in coverage. I’m not sure it’s so much scheme than his ability to play, but I think that is one of the thing that stands out is that he has made plays in coverage in his career at Alabama. Now, playing in coverage, especially for linebackers, is very important.”

On LBs Sione Takitaki and Wilson adding to the room:

Donahoe: “It is good to add guys that are just going to come in and compete. You can never have too much depth at any position. I think a lot of times when guys go out there and compete, it brings out the best in everyone, not just that position but the whole time. I think they both have the mentality to come in whether it is starting, whether it is backing up or whether it is playing special teams, I think they are going to come in and give it their all.”

On how special teams plays a role in the decision-making process:

Donahoe: “Every player, we have a box of where does he line up? What do you think of him on special teams? It is not something you just overlook. You want to make sure where they line up so when we go look at it, we know we are not searching for him. A lot of these times, these kids play [special teams] early on in their career just to get them on the field and gain some experience. It is definitely one of the three phases. It is definitely very important. I know I like the mixture. I like a good special teams players and guys I think that can play special teams, even if they haven’t. Even if they haven’t and you see enough on from them playing defense or offense, usually that can translate easily. It is just a matter of doing it.”

On if Wilson had a standout single-game performance that impressed the Browns, similar to Takitaki’s game referenced against Wisconsin:

Donahoe: “Mack was a pretty consistent player. I wouldn’t say there’s one like (Assistant General Manager) Eliot (Wolf) was saying yesterday that kind of just blows them all away. You kind of saw Mack throughout his career do a little bit of everything you like as far as range, coverage, physical nature to his game. I can’t think of one that is just like wow. I think the good thing with Mack is you saw him do a little bit of everything. Maybe it wasn’t consistent all the time, but I think if you can do it once, you can probably do it again.”

On S Sheldrick Redwine and standout traits:

Donahoe: “I actually did go into Miami, as well. His speed. I think the cool thing with him is he was a former corner so he has coverage ability. Anytime you get a safety that has ability to play in coverage, whether it is man, zone or wherever you put him, I think that is a good thing. I think he is going to be a very good special teams player, as well, with that speed. I think he has upside because I think he is only just getting comfortable playing safety. There is a lot of upside with that. He had another safety there that he played high school with (Bills S) Jaquan Johnson. They went to the same high school and played there. Jaquan was very good and they worked very well together. I think they learned a lot from each other so that’s why especially for Sheldrick I think he has a lot of upside.”

On visits with Wilson:

Donahoe: “We interviewed Mack at the combine. Our scouts, we try to keep in contact with most of them throughout the process just to make sure everything is going well and how they are doing, checking in. I think the only interaction everyone had at one time was the interview at the combine with Mack.”

Cox: “I have talked to Austin several times. Interviewed him at the Senior Bowl. I believe he may have come in, but I can’t remember honestly. I have been in contact with him since the season has ended.”

On if LBs and S have to be able to play multiple positions:

Donahoe: “I think it only helps your value. I don’t think you have to. A lot of times – I know I have talked about special teams a lot – those linebackers or safeties you want them to be your core special teams guys just because they have the traits to do that. If they can play multiple positions that is just more benefit.”

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