Cleveland Browns: Week 14 takeaways from the defense

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Cleveland Browns
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The Browns are desperate for defensive back help

No, Joe Haden would not offer much if he were still on this team. We can stop that take right now.

Jason McCourty has been a pleasant surprise for the Cleveland Browns. His signing was initially skeptical but he has displayed enormous effort and has converted several key plays throughout the season.

Also impressive along with McCourty has been Briean Boddy-Calhoun, who remains one of the league’s best lockdown defenders. PFF has him with a 85.5 overall grade – top 20 for cornerbacks. And yes, that is with 13 losses and zero wins.

He has developed into an impressive cornerback that has the ability to shadow opposing teams’ best receiver for the duration of a game.

Outside of those two, however, the questions begin to rise.

Jamar Taylor will have moments where he seems elite but follows it up with awful penalties or simply losing his man. Again, the word “consistent” appears to be lacking with Taylor and the rest of the defensive back core.

Jabrill Peppers missed another start on Sunday, though his utilization has been questionable all season. Derrick Kindred has shown flashes of his potential and has played well – though it’s still uncertain if he is someone to rely on throughout an entire season. Of course, this is only his second season and he undoubtedly deserves playing time on this team moving forward.

However, this team needs reliable starters that can play every down. I’m not sure Kindred fits that role and as of now Peppers doesn’t appear to be the answer either.

Next: Talking another 0-13 start in the DPD Podcast

There are several defensive backs expected to be drafted highly in the 2018 NFL Draft. There is good reason to believe the Cleveland Browns will consider using one of their several top picks on one come April.