2022 – Martin Emerson
The 2020 NFL Draft is settled, the 2021 Draft is mostly settled, but the 2022 Draft is far from settled. There are a lot of players from that draft who wasn’t great, but as it’s only their rookie year, they may improve still. They may not, it’s far too soon to tell for sure how that draft will shake out.
However, most of the picks were third-rounders and on, so the possibility that the Browns hit on any number of starters isn’t likely at all, especially since the team already landed one player who easily could be a starter; Martin Emerson.
If Denzel Ward is healthy and playing with some intensity, he’s the best corner on the Browns. Aside from him, it’s a tie for who’s the next best corner. Emerson had a huge rookie year, with PFF giving him an overall score of 72.5 and a coverage score of 75.1.
Better than Greg Newsome in the same year. Emerson’s not much of a run-stopper and his tackling isn’t great but as a coverage guy, Emerson may be as good as Ward, or whomever you think may be the best coverage guy on the team. Emerson has a huge 2023 ahead of him, as a step forward could see him become a Pro Bowler, or a step back may see people re-evaluate 2022 as a fluke and not as a stepping stone to greater things.
Emerson right now is clearly the bell of the ball for the class of 2022, and he needs to put his best foot forward to continue that momentum in 2023.