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Jeff Allred, Deseret News
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Former Cougar Sione Takitaki Taken By Cleveland In Third Round

Jeff Allred, Deseret News

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – With the 80th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns have selected former BYU linebacker Sione Takitaki.

Takitaki joins former Utah safety Marquise Blair, who was picked by Seattle in the second round, as the first two college stars from the Beehive State to be taken in the rookie selection draft.

The Browns didn’t have a first round pick in the 2019 Draft. They also drafted cornerback Greedy Williams out of LSU with their second round pick.

“This is a physical, physical football player. He plays with violence,” said Browns assistant general manager Eliot Wolf upon announcing the selection.

The Browns’ selection of the Takitaki marked the second consecutive year that a BYU linebacker was picked in the third round of the NFL Draft. Former Cougar Fred Warner was picked by the San Francisco 49ers in 2018.

The Cougars’ leading tackler with 119 takedowns in 2018, Takitaki’s draft stock improved steadily throughout the pre-draft process. He spoke to KSL Sports’ Spencer Linton earlier this month about the excitement that he and his family were experiencing as the draft drew closer.

“It’s definitely exciting because you know you can play some ball. Everybody’s believing in you, my wife, my family, everybody knew that I could play some ball,” said Takitaki. “I’m having to be in this position. I would it would all come, just keeping my nose down and keep grinding, I knew this opportunity would come.”

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