The Cleveland Browns have signed Rodney McLeod but will he really be a difference maker?
The Cleveland Browns brought in safety and famed veteran leader Rodney McLeod, who has spent time before with Browns’ defensive coordinator, Jim Schwartz. McLeod, who has spent 11 seasons in the NFL so far, spent five seasons with Schwartz in Philadelphia, where as a member of the Eagles, McLeod helped the team win a Super Bowl.
Throughout his career, experts have asked constantly if McLeod is underrated. Surely for the fans of the Eagles, they believed he deserved far more in the realm of respect and accolades than he ever got. Despite his reputation, McLeod was and never has received any sort of post-season award.
His arrival with the Browns is seen by many in the fanbase as a “big deal”. And to a degree, it is. McLeod gives the defense a veteran leader, with winning experience that former teammates like Jalen Hurtz rave about.
But, as an on-field player, is he a top guy that can remake a defense? Some believe he is, citing his PFF grade in 2022 as a member of the Colts as a sign that he’s a “Top 10 safety”. That’s not really true, however. When we talk about a player being a “top 10 guy”, what we’re really saying is “Would you take at least 10 other guys ahead of X-player.”
Would you really not take 10 other safeties in the league over McLeod? CBS Sports doesn’t have McLeod in their Top 20, the Next Gen Analytic folks at NFL.com don’t have him ranked at all. Pro Football Network has him 25th.
PFF graded out his 2022 season pretty high. So high he falls in their Top 10. But that doesn’t mean he’s a Top 10 talent, that means that he had a Top 10 season. A notable point to remember. Being used well, and being talented are different things.