Andrew Berry and the Cleveland Browns finally got around to making a selection in the 2022 NFL Draft.
With no first-round pick due to the Deshaun Watson trade, there was thought that Berry might trade up from #44.
But instead, the Browns’ GM traded back and made fans wait until the third round to meet their first new player.
.@mikethemiz brought all the heat announcing our pick of Martin Emerson
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) April 30, 2022
And that player is Martin Emerson, a cornerback from Mississippi State.
Emerson joins one of the strongest position groups on the Cleveland Browns.
His selection surprised some fans who expected a wide receiver or defensive lineman to headline their draft class.
But here are 3 things to know about Martin Emerson to help fans understand.
1. Emerson Is a Converted Safety
Martin Emerson was a 3-star recruit coming out of Pine Forest High School.
But he was ranked as a safety, listed as the 67th best at that position.
To say he played better as a cornerback is an understatement.
— MoreForYouCleveland (@MoreForYou_CLE) April 30, 2022
PFF gave him the second-best coverage grade in the SEC last year.
Not only is he solid against the pass, but his safety instincts kick in against the run.
His best season was 2020 with 11 passes defensed and 72 tackles.
2. Emerson Is Another Smart Guy
Andrew Berry likes to hire smart players, and Emerson qualifies.
He is a 3-time honor roll student at Mississippi State.
Emerson also knew not to worry about falling down the draft from his second-round rating.
#Browns Martin Emerson on what he plans to bring to the team: "Bring a little size, bring some physicality, just bring everything I've got…excited to be a part of that room."
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) April 30, 2022
Offenses threw away from Emerson for most of 2021, limiting his opportunities.
His stats dropped considerably from his 2020 numbers, but he says his skill set did not.
Emerson expects to make an immediate impact for the Browns.
3. Good Corner With Just 1 Pick?
Emerson has one career interception in his collegiate career, and it came in 2019.
So it stands to reason some might question his coverage skills.
For sure, he has some flaws, including the potential to be beaten off the line and yards-after-catch.
The Cleveland Browns pick Mississippi State CB Martin Emerson at No. 68 overall.
89.6 coverage grade since 2020 (2nd among SEC CBs) 🔒 pic.twitter.com/PH3rE0Cdr4
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 30, 2022
But scouts see there is one big reason for his lack of picks that stands out on game highlights.
He just doesn’t try to get them, preferring to slap the ball away from his receiver.
Browns coaches will be sure to work on correcting that aspect of Emerson’s game.