Cleveland Browns: 2022 Midseason awards highlight MVP and best rookie

Browns, Nick Chubb. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Browns, Nick Chubb. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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Browns, Martin Emerson Jr. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports /

Best Rookie: Martin Emerson, CB

Martin Emerson, the rookie out of Mississippi State was the first draft pick of the Browns during the draft this past spring. He was considered a talented cornerback with a knack for being around the ball but wasn’t seen as an instant starter. He didn’t have an interception in college, but he made his presence known this preseason when he took an interception back for a touchdown.

The cornerback position was considered a strength of the team coming into the year with Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome, and Greedy Williams all returning. Unfortunately, Ward has been injured again and is in concussion protocol going on a third week and Williams has also been sidelined with an injury.

That’s resulted in Emerson being forced into action and while he’s made his share of mistakes, he’s also made many nice plays where he’s either broken up pass receptions or made an aggressive tackle. While some Browns players have been accused of being lax in their efforts, especially when it’s come to tackling, Emerson seems to really revel in playing hard-nosed football.

He’s quickly establishing himself as a real team leader and we could see his production explode the rest of the season. He has recorded 36 tackles so far and deflected six passes while playing the majority of defensive snaps in the last two games. He had nine tackles in the Browns’ win against the Cincinnati Bengals.

There will be bumps in the road ahead, but Emerson has embraced his role with the team and is becoming a bigger leader at the same time.