Monday, May 13, 2013
Cleveland's CB picture
By Tim Kavanagh
One school of thought leading up to the NFL Draft was that the Cleveland Browns were targeting Alabama CB Dee Milliner with their first-round pick (No. 6 overall), while the other was that they were targeting one of the pass-rushers -- Ezekiel Ansah, Dion Jordan or Barkevious Mingo. They wound up with Mingo, and then addressed their CB opening with third-round pick Leon McFadden. So will he be an instant starter opposite Joe Haden?
Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote recently that that's the hope from the Browns, but the club will make McFadden earn the starting job. McFadden's primary competition will come from FA signee Chris Owens, and the two may even split time as the outside CB, with Haden occupying the other side and Buster Skrine focusing on serving as the nickel CB in the slot. Certainly something on which to keep an eye as we head through the summer work.
Here's ESPN AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley with more on McFadden and the rest of Cleveland's CBs:
Jamison HensleyBrowns' McFadden not short on confidence
"Heading into the draft, everyone knew the Browns would take a cornerback at some point. It was the biggest need on the team. I thought the Browns would be looking for a cornerback with more height and length. New defensive coordinator Ray Horton was a longtime secondary coach for the Steelers, and Pittsburgh is known for the size of its corners with Ike Taylor (6-2), Keenan Lewis (6-0) and Bryant McFadden (6-0). From the Browns' perspective, McFadden isn't replacing a tall cornerback in Sheldon Brown (5-10) and he isn't competing against one either in Buster Skrine (5-9). For the Browns to improve upon the NFL's 25th-ranked pass defense, it might not be about the size of the cornerbacks. It's about the size of the mistakes."