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Genard Avery getting love as an edge defender

The Cleveland Browns drafted Genard Avery in the fifth-round out of Memphis to play linebacker. However, he’s been thriving closer to the line of scrimmage

With nine games under his belt, rookie linebacker Genard Avery is proving to be quite the steal. Drafted in the fifth round out of Memphis, Avery came to the Cleveland Browns as a linebacker who could do it all.

During his time with the Tigers, he recorded 230 tackles and 21.5 sacks — including a career-high 8.5 in 2017. Now with the Browns, he’s excelling for them, but he’s do ing so more with his pass rushing skills than anything else.

Thrust into playing time up front early in the season when Emmanuel Ogbah was hurt, Avery played extremely well. Now, even, with Ogbah back, the Browns are having a hard time taking the rookie off the field.

And Pro Football Focus has taken notice of his hard work. They recently tweeted out that he is the fourth-best edge rushing rookie this season.

Avery has recorded 17 total tackles and 2.5 sacks so far (according to Pro Football Reference). He’s also been credited with a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and two pass breakups so far this season.

Next: 3 potential wide receivers in the NFL draft

A lot of the hype around Cleveland’s rookies has centered around Baker Mayfield and Denzel Ward. However, Avery is showing that their rookie class is deeper than just the two biggest names. They also hit a home run late here.

For more grades, advanced statistics and more at Pro Football Focus, subscribe to PFF’s EDGE or ELITE subscriptions at ProFootballFocus.com.

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