Aug 29, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Joe Anderson (19) makes a catch against Cleveland Browns cornerback Leon McFadden (29) during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Leon McFadden to get bigger role for stretch run

There has been a lot of criticism and concern over the Browns third round pick Leon McFadden.  When he was drafted, many were penciling him into the starting lineup because they were so convinced that Buster Skrine was terrible.  He got banged up in camp, which made winning the starting job impossible that he suddenly was their fourth corner, which caused some to already call McFadden a bust.  The Browns have announced that after the bye week, McFadden should have a bigger role.

This makes a ton of sense for a few reasons.  First, McFadden was able to get healthy and work to be able to produce.  The bye week gives him more opportunities to get reps and show he is ready to do the job.  They are not forced to throw him to the wolves and have been able to ease him into the job.

Second, despite the fact that Chris Owens has had success on the blitz, he has been terrible.  To think there were people in the local media who thought the battle between Owens and Skrine for the starting job was neck and neck in training camp.  Skrine has been fantastic while Owens is a one trick pony and that trick has nothing to do with covering anyone.

As a result, if McFadden is bad, it will be difficult to see a drop off from Owens.  However, if McFadden can come in and make a difference, the Browns suddenly have a far more effective secondary that can really be effective.  The pressure is off and he can just come in and work on his game.  Hopefully, he can hit the ground running now that he is coming in for the stretch run and Ray Horton is confident that can happen.

The injuries have in camp were frustrating for McFadden as well as everyone else, but they really made it tough for him to keep up with everything when it came to getting badly needed reps.  Nevertheless, the calls that he is already a bust (Dustin Fox) have been absurd.  The Browns do need to find out if they need to address the nickel or if they are just looking to bring in depth and competition to develop beneath their top three corners going forward.  Hopefully, McFadden can come in and show why they felt he was worth a third round pick and along with Barkevious Mingo and Armonty Bryant so far, this draft class, as small as it was, can show its value both now and for the future.

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  • paulbip

    Not only is McFadden a bust, but Mingo has proven to be a one trick pony and a bust for the 6th pick. Mingo can’t dominate anyone.

    • Pete Smith

      This is absurd, but if memory serves, you were pissed the Browns didn’t take a guard at that pick, so this is hardly surprising. How is Chance Warmack doing by the way? Is he dominating?

  • paulbip

    I haven’t checked on Warmack but will. One thing I will guess at is that he is involved in more plays than Mingo. In fact, Bryant is a better player than Mingo. McFadden was the 16th CB taken in the draft and rides the bench like one.

    • Pete Smith

      Bryant is not better than Mingo, but Bryant is an extremely intriguing player if he can keep himself out of trouble. Really provides a nice role for the Browns. McFadden has been disappointing, but some of that has been due to injuries he suffered in camp. I’ll wait to see him get on the field before I call him a bust. If he plays in these last 7 games and is terrible, I will have some questions. It wasn’t the pick I would have made (I wanted Blidi Wreh-Wilson), but Chris Owens has been abysmal.

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  • paulbip

    I just checked out Mingo on Profootballfocus and the comment on him is “Not good enough to be a starter.”. He posts a negative rating. Warmack is also struggling.

    • Pete Smith

      Mingo isn’t good enough to be a full time player yet. He was not going to be as a rookie. He was drafted as a project that could contribute as a pass rusher. That is what he does and why it works out great that the Browns had Kruger and Sheard in house. Mingo was not a finished product coming out of college, but he was a tremendous prospect and they have him on the same plan the 49ers did with Aldon Smith. I have no problem with that… in fact, I wrote about expecting it.
      So if the question is would I have rather had a project pass rusher who can be a franchise player? Or would I rather have a potential franchise guard who appears to be struggling so far? The choice for me is pretty easy.

  • eldaveablo

    People need to chill on McFadden. It took Haden (a 1st round pick and stud) a few games to crack the starting lineup his rookie year. Expecting too much frokm McFadden from the start is a joke. If he can start logging good time as a #3 this year and keep getting better next year, I’ll take it.