When the Cleveland Browns drafted Martin Emerson, fans wondered how adding another cornerback to the roster would shake things up.
I spoke to several people close to #Browns RD 3 pick Martin Emerson. They raved about Emerson’s work ethic and character. Was told that he is one of the coolest teammates and he always pushes everyone around him as well.
Best quote I got: “Cleveland got themselves a real Dawg.”
— Noah Weiskopf (@BrownsWithNoah) May 1, 2022
Could there be an odd man out?
Currently, there are eight cornerbacks on the roster.
They are, in order of NFL experience, as follows:
- Martin Emerson (rookie)
- Shaun Jolly (rookie)
- A.J. Green
- Herb Miller
- Parnell Motley
- Greg Newsome II
- Greedy Williams
- Denzel Ward
Reggie Robinson II was the ninth, but he failed his physical so the Browns waived him.
Updated: #Browns claim defensive backs Reggie Robinson II, Luther Kirk, Parnell Motley off waivers. Robinson was waived Thursday with a failed physical, but could return to the team https://t.co/m6zXAG0oQ1
— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) May 20, 2022
Greedy Williams has one year remaining on his contract and will be a free agent in 2023.
Williams will not be the odd man out in 2022, but he could be next season if Emerson and the younger plays progress well this season.
In the meantime, Williams should get the same amount (if not more) of playing time as he did in 2021.
There Always Seem To Be People Questioning Williams
Last season, when the Browns signed free agent Troy Hill from the Los Angeles Rams and Williams was coming back from his injury, fans wondered about Williams.
Good morning my Cleveland Browns family! The Browns have one of the best young cornerback tandems in the nfl with Newsome,Ward and now with Greedy Williams nerve injury behind him this defensive backfield could be the best in the league 😤🔥#Browns #NFL #brownstwitter pic.twitter.com/Vdg4Y2zesU
— The_Brownie_Elf (@TheBrownieElf1) May 22, 2022
Yet he still played in 56% of the defensive snaps and 15% of the special teams’ snaps.
Williams has performed well despite missing an entire 2020 season with a shoulder injury.
Aside from Ward, Williams has the most experience with the Browns.
He has played in 28 career games with 2 career interceptions.
#Browns Greedy Williams interception on Kirk Cousins today marked Greedy's first career pick and Cousins' first INT in his last 226 pass attempts.
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) October 3, 2021
Draft Picks Are Future Prospects
Though the Browns are very excited about Emerson, as evidenced by their discussion about him on the latest episode of Building the Browns, Andrew Berry’s guiding principle when drafting is that he is planning for the future, a few seasons down the line when the rookies have more experience.
This is not to say that Emerson could not see playing time this season; that seems likely, but the Browns have enough depth that they do not need to rely on Emerson to carry the load exclusively.
Our young guys came in ready to work.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) May 22, 2022
Depth Is Important
The past two seasons have proven that depth is vital.
Between COVID-19 and injuries, it is essential to have plenty of performers in the cornerback role.
If Emerson’s football IQ is what the Browns think it is, he can add depth sooner rather than later.
As with all NFL questions arising in May, it is way too soon to know how things will turn out.
Training camp in July will give fans the first indications of how the cornerback depth chart may look in September.