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6 defensive coordinator targets to pursue to replace Joe Woods

Browns

Browns should target Ryan Walters. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Why not throw a college defensive coordinator on the list? This offseason the Baltimore Ravens fired their seasoned defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, then reached down to one of the brightest minds at the college level to hire Mike McDonald away from the Michigan Wolverines.

Once again, one of the brightest defensive minds in college football can be found in Champaign, Illinois this season in Ryan Walters. Not only are the Fighting Illini about to churn out a handful of 2023 NFL Draft prospects, including defensive tackle Johnny Newton, but they are at the top of the rankings this season defensively.

In both Expected Points Added per play and per game, the Illini defense falls second in the nation behind only the Marshall Thundering Herd. Having this much success at a Power Five level, however, means more for Walters. His unit is ranked first against the pass in the entire country, falling at 17th against the run as well. This is incredibly impressive considering Illinois cannot recruit five-stars the way Ohio State and Michigan can.

As the Colorado Buffs, where Walters played his college football, look for a new head coach, however, they may turn to Walters. If Walters has NFL aspirations though, he could be high up on the call sheet for this Browns football team.

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