Cleveland Browns: The most overrated player is …


Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden has made one analyst’s list of the most overrated players in the NFL.

Training camps don’t open for another week for the NFL’s 32 teams, meaning we are in the waning days of the darkest part of the league calendar.

To help fill in the time until something … anything … happens, media members spend their time making various lists.

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports joined the party earlier today by posting a list of one player from each of the league’s teams that he considers to be overrated. Prisco uses the following criteria when creating his list:

"Games, not names."

"That’s something that is often overlooked in the evaluation of NFL players, whether by fans, scouts, media or just about anybody."

"We get caught up in the hype of a player who has the name and the reputation, but not the game. That’s why each summer I put together a list of the NFL’s Most Overrated and Most Underrated players."

For the Cleveland Browns, Prisco selected former Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden, who only played five games in 2015 as he struggled with injuries to his finger and ankle, as well as a lingering concussion.

Prisco explains his pick:

"His decline is one of the biggest mysteries in the league: What happened to Joe Haden? Early in his career, he looked to be one of the rising stars at corner. But injuries have piled up and he hasn’t been the same player he was early in his career even when he’s been on the field. Now in his seventh season, he has to stay healthy and show he can still get it done outside. He did have ankle surgery after the season."

Taking a look at the Browns roster you realize that if forced to name a player as being overrated then Haden is probably the correct choice. It certainly would not be left tackle Joe Thomas, still one of the best in the game at his position, and everyone else is either too young or was never playing at a high enough level to now be considered for anyone’s overrated list.

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The good news is that if healthy there is reason to believe that Haden can return to being a very good player for the Browns.

Prior to his injury-filled 2015 season, Haden had made the Pro Bowl in 2013 and 2014 and started 30 of a possible 32 games. Once he fully recovers from his off-season ankle surgery – he is hoping to be ready for the Week 1 trip to Philadelphia to face the Eagles – he should be able to play well enough to take his name out of consideration for Prisco’s list next year.

“I think I’m going to be back definitely for sure not to miss any regular-season time,” Haden said in published reports. “I don’t really know about training camp. That’s the goal, try to get back [for training camp, which starts in late July], but I just know for sure that my whole thing is I’m not missing any games.”

Haden’s absence, among other problems, was felt in a major way by a secondary that came into the 2015 season expecting to be one of the league’s best. But the Browns fell flat from the opening game of the season in giving up 31 points to the New York Jets, one of nine times they gave up 30 or more points, and never found their footing.

Next: Browns will be better than 3-13 this fall

Hopefully a healthy Haden can help turn the tide this fall.

What do you think Browns fans? If you had to name one player who is overrated on the Browns, who would it be?