Cleveland Browns: Ranking each 2018 position group
By Dan Justik
It should be stated that there is a lot of potential with this group, but also a lot of uncertainty. Damarious Randall was brought in via trade, and he will be playing as the free safety, playing center field and being the ball hawk. Although he has played cornerback the first three years of his career, safety is his natural position. He has a chance to excel as a ball hawk safety. But he needs to be able to prove that he is comfortable with the position change after playing solely cornerback.
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Jabrill Peppers had a miserable rookie season, and in large part, it was not his fault. As most Browns fans know, it seemed as if the Browns defense was playing with only ten players since Peppers was playing so far off the ball, he could not be seen on TV. Free safety was not in the right position to utilize his skill set.
It is expected that Peppers is going to be playing more in the box and the slot in 2018. He does a great job of blitzing, and Gregg Williams can be creative with how he plays Peppers. He can be disguised as a blitzer and drop into coverage, or it can be reversed the other way. Although he will be put in a better position to make plays, there is still questions about Peppers. Until he proves it on the field, there are low expectations for Peppers following his poor rookie season.
There is also not that great of depth behind the two starters. Derrick Kindred was the starting strong safety last season, but struggled in coverage. After that, the Browns have Justin Currie and Derron Smith as reserve safeties, but will not receive much, if any, playing time at safety.