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Addressing Cleveland Browns' needs: Cornerback

Posted Feb 28, 2014

Senior Editor Vic Carucci has put together his list of needs, from nine to one, for the Browns to address through free agency and the draft. At No. 6, cornerback.

CB Joe Haden was selected to his first Pro Bowl for the 2013 season.



Right now, the Browns have only one cornerback who provides anything approaching tight coverage: Joe Haden.

And he does it well enough to be recognized as one of the NFL’s very best at his position.

But after Haden and his Pro Bowl/All-Pro credentials, the Browns have a significant drop-off at cornerback.

That’s what makes it such an important area for the team to address in free agency and the draft.

Buster Skrine no doubt showed vast improvement last season over his 2012 performance. He mostly made good use of his aggressive style of play while also showing better discipline when it came to drawing pass-interference penalties.

Nevertheless, Skrine often was a liability in pass coverage and opposing offenses didn’t hesitate to try to exploit him while tending to steer clear of Haden.

Leon McFadden, the Browns’ third-round draft pick last year, proved to be an even greater liability in coverage. The chance of him becoming a whole lot better in his second season is debatable.

Among the potential top cornerbacks to hit the free-agent market are Brent Grimes (Miami Dolphins), Aqib Talib (New England Patriots), and Alterraun Verner (Tennessee Titans).

Highly rated cornerbacks in the draft include Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State), Justin Gilbert (Oklahoma State), Jason Varrett (TCU), and Marcus Roberson (Florida).

>>This Road to the Draft segment is driven by Liberty Ford.

>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET, for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford” on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com.

>>Have a question for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”? Ask me at Twitter.com/viccarucci or by e-mail at daily@clevelandbrowns.com or by calling 855-363-2459.