Joe Haden is clearly one of the top echelon cornerbacks in the NFL. Cleveland Browns’ fans will tell you. He will tell you. A.J. Green will probably tell you. Yet he doesn’t tend to get the level of respect nationally that many think he should. Some can blame playing in Cleveland. Some can blame the Browns’ losing record. Some will say it is just honest evaluation.
Like Matt Miller, whose 7 Round Mock Draft we covered on Friday, who has Haden ranked as the 10th best corner in 2013. In order Patrick Peterson, Byron Maxwell, Leodis McKelvin, Chris Harris Jr., Desmond Trufant, Vontae Davis, Tyrann Mathieu, Darrelle Revis and Richard Sherman all graded out ahead of Haden. Some of those names, Peterson, Revis and Sherman, will make sense to fans, the others not so much.
The two biggest knocks by Miller on Haden are his inconsistency and his tackling. Miller brings up Haden shutting down Green but notes how he struggled against secondary receiver types. Haden does seem more focused and hyped for games against bigger named receivers but then gets caught by lesser receivers. It is as if he knows he needs to be prepared against the Greens of the world but that his natural talent and ability will be enough against those poorer receivers.
The tackling negative was a surprise. Watching games on TV Haden is aggressive in the run game and presents as a physical tackler. Yet Miller has him noted with 8 missed tackles. Haden and Peterson both rank lowest of the top 10 in Miller’s ranking, with a 5 out 10 score.
With Haden the thing that makes him spectacular also seems to cause him the most problems. He is an aggressive emotional player. His aggressiveness caused him a number of times on double moves, as he bit on the first move the receiver cut passed him to be wide open. That aggressiveness also caused many of his missed tackles as he didn’t get a good clean hit, instead looking for the big hit or to take a player out at their feet.
As an emotional player it is much easier to get excited and hyped to face Green, Calvin Johnson, etc. Yet it is much less exciting to cover the Emmanuel Sanders, Kenny Britts, etc of the world. That can cause a lack of focus. As Haden grows and matures he will learn the necessity of consistency, could be his creed for next year. Haden is a great player with simple things that he can improve to be considered the best in the league.
What are your thoughts on Haden? Concerns? Praise? How do you feel about Miller’s ranking?