The next free agent on the list for the Browns is the ever polarizing Joe Schobert. Among Browns fans, he is either a playmaking force or a liability that misses too many tackles. The reality is that he is a bit of both. Joe does make a lot of spectacular plays and has several massive games. The missed tackles do tend to pile up. Is he the young playmaking linebacker with his best seasons ahead? Or is he the missed tackles machine that has a nice game here and there?
Schobert by the Numbers
The main concern for a lot of Browns fans is the missed tackles by Schobert. He has been at the top of the missed tackles list multiple times in his career. A significant miss by a lot of Browns fans is that Schobert never played middle linebacker before being moved in 2017. He spent his college career as a pass-rushing outside linebacker for the Wisconsin Badgers. So, in his first year as a middle backer, he was good enough to make the Pro Bowl. An impressive feat even if it was as a Pro Bowl alternate. That season he missed nine* tackles leading to a Pro Football Focus run grade of 81.6 that year. That placed him second in the NFL in missed tackles a few more stats given by PFF show just how good he was in 2017. (*have seen between 9 and 18 based on site)
Led the NFL in tackles made in the run game with 73.
Made a league-leading 44 stops(Considered a win for the defense)
League leader in first contact (66 times) on run attempts
Schobert also had three sacks, three forced fumbles, and an interception in 2017. So for all the talk about missed tackles, Schobert’s impact on the defense was crucial as one of the most talented and intelligent players in the NFL.
The 2018 season’s importance is to show Schobert’s importance. An injury forced him out for three games during the season, and the Browns defense fell apart during that time. While they may not have been a top ten defense, to begin with, but it got gruesome over those three games. Over those three games, the defense gave up 458.6 yards per game, with 318.3 of it through the air and 140.3 on the ground. With Schobert in the lineup the other 13 games, the Browns defense gave up 377.8 yards per game. While both numbers needed improvement, it is proof that Schobert masks a lot of weaknesses with his intelligence and talent. Even tho he once again was at the top of the missed tackle board, Joe made plays with three sacks, two forced fumbles, and one interception.
Once again, Joe was near the top of the missed tackle board with 16 (Pro Football Reference) missed tackles. He was also once again one of the top ten tacklers in the NFL, totaling 133 for the season. As we have seen every season since moving into the starting lineup, Joe made big plays. In 2019 he continued to do so as he recorded two sacks, two forced fumbles, and four interceptions in 2019.
The Browns should be blowing up his phone or at his door every day trying to get a deal done. One thing is clear about the 26-year-old linebacker is that he is a playmaker and a leader of this defense, and those are hard to replace. Isn’t time the Browns start to retain the talented players instead of watching them win Superbowls.
Best Offer: Five-years $58.5 million/ 34.5 guaranteed
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