6 Browns with rising stock following win over Bengals

Browns, Martin Emerson Jr. Mandatory Credit: Albert Cesare-USA TODAY Sports
Browns, Martin Emerson Jr. Mandatory Credit: Albert Cesare-USA TODAY Sports /
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Browns, Martin Emerson Jr. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports /

5. Martin Emerson, CB

The rookie out of Mississippi State has been steadily making an impact for the Cleveland defense. Martin Emerson, Jr. again stepped up in the win against the Bengals with several big plays. He’s one of the team’s best tacklers and that showed up again as he got a few big hits early. He also broke up a couple of passes while in coverage.

He finished with a season-high nine tackles and seemed to be everywhere during the game. The way that Emerson has started the year out for the Browns has been solid. He now has recorded a tackle in every game and has 32 on the season, but it’s been his coverage on passing plays that continue to improve.

He’s been burned a time or two and rival quarterbacks have continued to throw his way, but he’s done a nice job of playing through some of his early mistakes. He’s a high-energy kid with a knack for being around the action on the field. That should continue even more in this second half of the season as his confidence continues to grow.

4. Isaiah Thomas, DE

This late-round draft pick from Oklahoma has certainly been playing well recently and he made a great play in this game as he sacked Joe Burrow.

Isaiah Thomas recorded three tackles in this battle and had four tackles a week ago against the Baltimore Ravens. Cleveland has been looking to find other defensive linemen to step up and Thomas seems like a guy that has a knack to get to the quarterback and help create chaos in opposing teams’ backfields.

The stories from Oklahoma were that Thomas had excellent talent but hadn’t been able to be consistent with his efforts. To this point in Cleveland, it certainly feels like he’s a guy that’s learning how to play the position quickly in the NFL and that will mean good things for the Browns’ defense moving forward.

3. Sione TakiTaki, LB

Sione Takitaki is in his fourth season in Cleveland, and he’s stepped up his game. In the win against the Bengals, he recorded a sack and strip fumble of Joe Burrow that gave the team some real energy. He also had a career-best 13 tackles on the evening. He’s been improving each week and has really helped shape the improving defensive identity of the team. Takitaki’s a hard-nosed linebacker who plays through the whistle.

The Browns’ linebacking crew has taken a few hits in the injury department as this season has unfolded with the loss of captain Anthony Walker for the season. They’ve also had Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah sidelined as he nurses an injury so the emergence of Takitaki is a welcome sight.