There has been a recent increase in the need for speed rushers that have the ability to both play the linebacker and defensive end position. Even though this trend has come about recently, the need has not always been there. One of the first guys to revolutionize this type of skill player was former Browns DE Kamerion Wimbley.
As a Florida State Seminole, Wimbley was a terror for opposing offenses in the ACC. His story becoming a pro was actually extra amazing, considering where he was on the depth chart. In his first three seasons at FSU, he was primarily a back up, but he continued to work his way up to where, by his junior season, he started in two games.
Wimbley’s break out campaign really occurred in his senior season. That year he led the conference in sacks before suffering a knee injury late in the season against NC State. Despite the injury, Wimbley was named a second-team ACC performer and was also named an All-American after his only full season of starting at the collegiate level.
Wimbley’s break out season was impressive enough to the Cleveland Browns to take him No. 13 overall in the 2006 NFL Draft, despite being labeled a better rush linebacker than defensive end, where he played in college.
In his four seasons with the Browns, he was a very average player, not necessarily terrible, but certainly not worth the first round pick that the team used on him. Wimbley really was at his best during his rookie campaign, in which he led the team in sacks (11). The Browns then moved him to linebacker, which was when his production seemed to drop off. Thus, many media members attribute his inability to really break out with the Brownies to the position switch that he was forced to make away from his natural DE post.
Wimbley’s tenure with the Browns ended in 2010, when he was traded during the NFL Draft to the Oakland Raiders for a third round pick that was used on Colt McCoy (I know, it still haunts me too). Since then, Wimbley played two unspectacular seasons with the Raiders (although no one really has spectacular seasons in Oakland anymore), before getting released. He then signed a five-year, $35 million deal with the Tennessee Titans, for whom he is entering his third season.
Off the field, Wimbley has also been staying busy as he currently owns a Florida-based dog breeding facility called Gold Lab Kennels, which specializes in American Bully Dogs.
It’ll be interesting to see if, in the coming years, Wimbley is able to keep up any above average play on the field, but it’s great to see that he does have a plan once his football career has come to a close. Here’s to you Kamerion – a Brown forever and a Brown for always.