The month of April in the NFL is also heavily draft-focused.
Front offices have dozens of names to sort through and evaluate with the majority of those reports becoming irrelevant after May 1st.
While defensive end has been a highly discussed position for the Cleveland Browns to look at with their first-round pick, other options remain.
Caleb Farley, a cornerback out of Virginia Tech, could be a potential target for Andrew Berry.
“If a team wants the best corner in the draft, they’ll come find me.”
If nothing more comes from Caleb Farley’s recent back surgery, a big time play maker could fall to a big time team. pic.twitter.com/kU9NzHOUli
— Money Mett (@PMIMett) April 6, 2021
Back to the Back (Of the First Round)
There are some that believe Farley has the ability to be a top-ten pick in this upcoming draft.
Unfortunately for Farley, that doesn’t seem to be the general consensus.
Farley underwent a microdiscectomy back in March.
While this surgery is sometimes referred to as a minor one, back injuries are anything but minor for NFL players.
Former NFL player Mark Schlereth had 16 knee surgeries and just one back surgery in his career.
According to ESPN’s Trey Wingo, a friend of Schlereth, Mark would rather have another 16 surgeries on his knee instead of another back surgery.
This video is awesome. A surgeon breaks down Caleb Farley's Microdiscectomy surgery and offers great information on recovery rates and potential timetables for return. Loved this.https://t.co/dXKuwRgYhg
— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) March 31, 2021
Farley does not believe that NFL teams should worry about his back surgery.
While it’s great to see that confidence in recovery from a player, front offices wouldn’t be doing their job if they didn’t take a closer look at Farley’s back injury.
— 247Sports (@247Sports) April 6, 2021
Pro Football Draft Network Chief Draft Analyst Tony Pauline believes the back will be a major concern for Farley’s career.
“It is not just like they fixed your knee because your knee is likely fixed. With a back injury, it can reoccur. And this late in the game, it is not a good sign… this is something that is a concern and will negatively impact his draft stock.”
Farley opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns as he lost his mother back in 2018 following a battle with breast cancer.
The last time we saw Farley on the field was in 2019, his second season with the Hokies.
He logged 19 pass deflections and four interceptions, both good for second in the ACC.
Caleb was more aggressive on the tackling front in 2018, where he tallied 36 total tackles, one for loss, and one sack.
Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
– Great size/speed combination, rarely gets beat deep
– Good anticipation and click/close in off-coverage
– 6 INTs, 19 PBUs in 2018&2019
– Hip fluidity and sudden COD aren't his strength
– Late first
— Jordan (@Texans_Thoughts) April 6, 2021
The Browns are still in search of some additional defensive help, and when healthy, Farley has the ability to be a part of that solution.
At 6’1” and 207-pounds, Farley possesses the size to be a high-level NFL cornerback.
His draft profile strengths include natural ball skills, great closing speed, and the ability to play press coverage.
Fundamentals and technique are listed as weaknesses, but more reps after missing an entire season could help correct that.
A source also told NFL.com that Farley played quarterback in high school and simply needs more time at cornerback in order to learn and grow.
There are other potential targets for the Browns to use the 26th pick on, some of which may be more NFL-ready than Farley.
From the scouting reports, it seems Cleveland could potentially trade down and still find a way to snag Farley.
If Caleb is indeed a target for the Browns, Andrew Berry needs to be sure he knows the true severity of the back injury.