The Las Vegas Raiders need help at the linebacker position and Baron Browning could help.
The Raiders linebacker corps shined at times in 2020 but continued to overall regress under Paul Guenther. Nick Kwiatkoski and Nicholas Morrow impressed and both should have long-term roles with the Raiders, though the latter is scheduled to hit the open market.
Cory Littleton had a rough 2020 campaign but showed a glimmer of hope at the season’s end. Raekwon McMillan is a talented linebacker but didn’t see the field much and is an unrestricted free agent. If the Raiders move on from Morrow and McMillan, Baron Browning could fill the void.
Gus Bradley, who replaced Guenther as defensive coordinator, has developed some of the best linebackers in the NFL, and Browning, a possible pickup on Day 2 or 3, could benefit from his mentorship.
What could Baron Browning do for the Raiders?
Browning is a six-foot-three athletic specimen who weighs in at 240 pounds. At Ohio State, Browning put together an impressive stat line over four seasons. He compiled 14 tackles for a loss, six sacks, and 46 solo tackles in the last two years alone. With a nose for making plays and causing turnovers, Browning tacked on two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and two passes defensed during that stretch.
Browning’s Pro Football Focus grades in his final collegiate season showcase his versatility. He had a noteworthy 74.8 pass-rush grade, a 70.0 coverage grade, and a run defense grade of 69.6. His speed, athleticism, and speed were on full display in 2020. He took 232 snaps in the box, 69 defending the slot, 10 snaps on the outside playing wide, and even two snaps in the backfield.
Browning’s film also shows his ability to be all over the field making plays, defending the run but he’s more than that. With the Raiders, his speed could be of use in rushing quarterbacks while he develops into a starting NFL linebacker. Even though Bradley isn’t known for blitzing, Browning could help in certain packages. It’d be hard for Las Vegas to pass up a potential starting linebacker with so many uncoachable intangibles such as speed, explosiveness, and a motor.
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