The surprising player so far: Jermaine Whitehead
One name that keeps popping up for Cleveland during offseason workouts is Jermaine Whitehead, an unheralded safety they picked up off waivers in November of 2018 after he had spent the past two and a half seasons with the Green Bay Packers. Before that, the undrafted Auburn product was with the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens in 2015.
While he’s struggled to stick with one team for long, the Browns have been thrilled with what they’ve seen from him. Not only are they happy with what he brings as a player, but defensive coordinator Steve Wilks said his ability to communicate with his teammates and ensure everyone is where they need to be on the field has Whitehead emerging as a leader on their defense.
It won’t exactly be easy for Whitehead to come in and unseat the veteran Morgan Burnett, but he’s in line to be the primary backup. That means he’s going to be on the field a lot in sub packages and will start should Burnett or Damarious Randall miss any games — and they each have missed their share of games in their respective careers. Randall has never played a full 16 games in his four seasons, and Burnett hasn’t made it through all 16 games since 2012.
Whitehead is a name to get familiar with, not just as a future starting option, but also as a player who will be counted on a lot in 2019.