1. Mack Wilson
Washington has a gaping hole at linebacker. That was the case before Jon Bostic’s season-ending pectoral injury and it was re-accentuated during the team’s Week 5 loss to the Saints.
While Cole Holcomb recorded an interception, his limitations in coverage were on full display. For the game, he allowed three first downs and 70 yards, per PFF. Jamin Davis, meanwhile, logged just 13 snaps, so the coaching staff clearly isn’t ready to take the training wheels off the No. 19 overall pick.
Without Bostic, we didn’t see any three-LB sets. Collins and Kurl dropped into the box on numerous occasions. Washington also deployed five defensive linemen personnel a lot. Given that the Saints posted 33 points, Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio should see to it that this strategy never sees the light of day again.
Rather, the front office should look to find them a competent linebacker to play alongside Holcomb. Enter Mack Wilson.
Wilson has fallen out of favor in Cleveland’s linebacker rotation. He’s still involved, but not heavily, as he’s managed a total of 28 snaps over the last three weeks (including just five in Week 5) following the return of Anthony Walker from IR and continued emergence of rookie Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.
A former fifth-round pick out of Alabama back in 2019, Wilson has exceeded expectations with the Browns. He started 14 games as a rookie, compiling 82 tackles and seven pass breakups, which is a lot for a linebacker.
At 23 years old, Wilson fits the age profile of Washington’s defense and was teammates with Daron Payne for two years in Tuscaloosa. Given his lack of playing time lately, he could likely be acquired for as little as a late-round pick.
Wilson won’t solve all of Washington’s problems, but he’d go a long way towards solidifying a LB group that’s been a black hole this season.