With Cleveland Browns Training Camp in full swing you will hear a ton about Johnny Manziel, Brian Hoyer, Ben Tate, Joe Haden, Justin Gilbert and the rest of the big name players. What you won’t hear as much about are some of the younger or off the radar guys. We intend to bring as many of them to you as possible in our Man of Mystery series. Our first Man of Mystery was Isaiah Crowell the undrafted running back who looks like he will still with the team. That story got picked up by Cleveland.com today. Now we take a look at rookie cornerback Pierre Desir.
Desir sits behind Justin Gilbert just among rookie corners and behind Gilbert, Haden and Buster Skrine on the corner depth chart. Desir has the requisite size that Mike Pettine likes in his corners. Lining up Desir, Haden and Gilbert could give the Browns one of the strongest, most physical trio of corners in the league. All 3 can play excellent press coverage.
Desir has been relatively quiet so far in camp but that seems to be coming to an end if some notes from yesterday and today’s sessions have anything to say about it:
Pierre Desir with a nice pass deflection — such long arms. If there's 1 player who gotten better each day of camp, it's the tall rookie CB
— Kevin Jones (@Mr_KevinJones) July 31, 2014
— Justin Higdon (@afc2nfc) July 31, 2014
Pierre Desir sort of highlights the difference between the offense and defense to me. If he was on offense, you'd hear about him constantly.
— Pete Smith (@PeteSmithWTFP) July 31, 2014
@DashDiallo1 He will do good when he can get his hands on receivers.
— Jared K Mueller (@JaredKMueller) August 1, 2014
Desir showing ability to not only get physical with players but also defend in space, turn and go and make plays on the ball all will endear him to Pettine and Browns faithful. Donte Whitner, Tashaun Gipson, Haden and Gilbert has been promoting the hashtag #LockdownTheLake. If Desir and Skrine continue to play the way they have in camp they will join that group in achieving just that.
Yet it is not just Desir’s on the field ability that make him somewhat a mystery. His path to the NFL is anything but smooth. Even his path to small Lindenwood college was less the standardized. He immigrated from Haiti with his family at the age of 4. Walked on at Lindenwood, working a number of jobs along the way to pay for school. Had a child at the age of 15. His long journey was captured by ESPN’s Draft Academy which you can watch here and here. The show highlights the person of Desir as well as his football journey, one that didn’t start till his freshman year of high school.
Desir is a player that is easy to root for. A story of grit and determination, as well as commitment and sacrifice. With the Browns Desir may be stuck in only Dime packages but with his tremendous length expect Pettine to find creative ways to get him involved in games. Desir will likely be in all special teams plays and could provide excellent service on punt and kick block teams.
This writer has a interesting fascination with Desir getting time at safety as well. With his size he can matchup with some of the tight ends that gave the Browns trouble last year while still being able to run with most receivers. One of the concerns on the field with Desir, besides the huge upgrade in competition from Lindenwood to the AFC North, is the fluidity of his hips. Time at safety could minimize this problem early in his career as well as give him more time to get used to NFL game speed.
No matter where Desir gets playing time expect him to play a role this year with increasing impact over the next 3 to 4 seasons. Skrine is a free agent this upcoming off-season and Desir’s play may give the Browns reason to let him walk if he gets a big contract offer.
One thing is clear, Desir has many people cheering for him and having high expectations:
Just wrapped up an interview w/ the exceptionally talented @pierre_desir. Can't wait to see what he does on the field and in the community.
— Brandon Howard (@DashDiallo1) July 26, 2014
— Patrick Ross (@CoachRoss_LUFB) July 27, 2014
Now it is up to him and the coaching staff to take this Man of Mystery and put him in position to help #LockdownTheLake. Take a look at Draft Breakdown’s tape on Desir from a game against Lincoln:
What are your thoughts on this small college mystery man?