SALT LAKE CITY — A pair of media outlets used a film session to scout former BYU linebacker Sione Takitaki, a third-round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns in last month's NFL draft, and get to know the rookie pass rusher better.
There was a consensus: Takitaki is physical.
"The tape that I saw of (the) 6-foot-1, 238-pounder was impressive in terms of sheer effort. He ran well from sideline-to-sideline, a key skill for a linebacker. He obviously enjoyed contact," wrote The Plain Dealer's Terry Pluto.
Browns team writer Nick Shook is analyzing every one of the Browns' draft picks, and in regards to Takitaki, he said the 'backer should easily find a home in defensive coordinator Steve Wilks' system, which utilizes interchangeable linebackers.
Shook called Takitaki "a wrecking ball all over the field, making for a tough block for opponents, as he arrives with downhill speed nearly every time."
The praise extends to the front office and Browns assistant general manager Eliot Wolf, who according to Shook said, "I start watching the film and I think it was the Wisconsin game, the second game of the year, and this guy is just out there destroying people."
Takitaki had his best year as a Cougar in 2018, when he finished with 118 tackles, nine tackles for loss, three sacks, four quarterback hits, three pass breakups and a forced fumble. In that aforementioned Wisconsin game, when BYU upset the then-No. 6 Badgers, Takitaki had 12 tackles, including seven solo stops and a tackle for a loss.
USU's Raymond impresses
It was a bit of a surprise when former Utah State tight end Dax Raymond went undrafted in the NFL draft, but he soon found a suitor, signing a free-agent deal with the Chicago Bears.
For a variety of factors, Chicago Tribune reporter Dan Wiederer wrote in an analysis piece following the Bears' rookie minicamp that Raymond "has a legitimate chance" of making the Bears' Week 1 roster as a rookie. The former Timpview High grad had a touchdown grab during Sunday's red-zone work, and Chicago isn't particularly deep at the tight end position, Wiederer noted, while saying Raymond has "a golden opportunity to carve out a niche on the 53-man roster."
Second-year Bears head coach Matt Nagy also noted Raymond's skills.
“He has big hands. And usually when you have big hands you catch a lot of footballs. And he did that. He’s shown that on tape, that he has a really good skill set. I was happy with what he did this week,” Nagy told the Tribune.
Find out where Athlon Sports ranks BYU, Utah and Utah State in the best and worst FBS college football coaching jobs in 20194 comments on this story
Former Utah State running back Kerwynn Williams signs with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Former Utah safety Marquise Blair was one of four Seattle draft picks to sign with the Seahawks Monday
And finally ...
Utah native and former Weber State linebacker Tre'Von Johnson, now with the Los Angeles Chargers, found a way to help out mothers in need. With Mother's Day quickly approaching, he announced via a Twitter video he is going to pick two winners to pay a bill that has been "stressing them out ... or who just needs a little boost. We all need boosts sometimes."