In the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns hopefully answered their glaring need for a corner back. The Browns pulled the trigger on Leon McFadden from the San Diego State Aztecs. This may have been a reach or this may have been a steal. Only time will tell.
While there were far more talented corners available, Cleveland went ahead and selected McFadden with their lone third round pick. Let’s hope they really did their homework on McFadden. Could McFadden start opposite Joe Haden when the season begins?
A former receiver for the Aztecs, McFadden switched to corner back before his freshman year. Because of that move is why McFadden now finds himself in the NFL. Coming from a athletic pedigree, McFadden’s father, Leon McFadden, Sr. played nine years of professional baseball. While he may have his flaws, McFadden is a true athlete.
NFL.com actually compares him to someone the Browns coveted in the off season- Brent Grimes. While the knocks on him are his average size, McFadden possesses super-fast feet. His 4.54 forty-yard dash time slipped him down past his other positional competitors. McFadden is zone coverage defensive back that does bring great awareness to the Cleveland defense. For a corner, McFadden also has exceptional hands that catch the football away from his body.
Size, recovery speed, poor wrapping up of ball carriers and inability to jam receivers at the line are McFadden’s weaknesses. Fortunately for the Browns, three of these four issues can be fixed with good coaching. With how weak the corner back position is after Haden, McFadden could be a day one starter when training camp begins in July. Overall, the Browns answered an important need.
Ryan Ruiz is a Cleveland Browns Writer for Rants Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @ryanpruiz24.