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Cleveland Browns get more LB help, draft West Virginia's Tony Fields II in 5th round

Fields is the second linebacker the Browns have picked this year.

CLEVELAND — Even with the Browns going 11-5 and winning a playoff game in 2020, linebacker was considered a major weakness. Naturally, the team has spent this year's NFL draft trying to bolster that position group.

Cleveland used its fifth-round selection (No. 153 overall) on West Virginia's Tony Fields II. The team obtained the pick after trading one of their fourth-rounders to the Detroit Lions.

LIVE BLOG: Final day of 2021 NFL Draft in Cleveland

The Las Vegas native Fields spent his first three seasons at Arizona, starting all 37 games while recording 287 tackles and 8.5 sacks. He joined WVU as a graduate transfer last year, and led the Mountaineers with 88 tackles to earn second-team All-Big 12 honors.

The Browns' linebacking core was beset by inexperience and inconsistency a year ago, although young players like Jacob Phillips and Sione Takitaki did make some strides. 2020 leading tackler B.J. Goodson remains a free agent, although the team did re-sign former Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith.

Fields is the second linebacker taken by Cleveland this year. The organization selected Notre Dame's Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah in the second round on Friday, a pick most observers say as a steal.

Browns legends Bernie Kosar and Eric Metcalf joined a young fan on stage to announce the pick, as fans outside FirstEnergy Stadium erupted into a standing ovation.

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