Cleveland Browns: Martin Emerson honored for showing out in Week 8
Martin Emerson, Jr. went toe-to-toe with Tee Higgins in Week 8 and shut him down, which gets the Cleveland Browns rookie some recognition from Pro Football Focus
It seemed a bit of a surprise when the Cleveland Browns traded out of the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft, considering they didn’t have a pick in the first. Then it was also unexpected that they went with a cornerback, making Martin Emerson, Jr. their first selection at No. 68 overall.
It’s not that Emerson was a bad pick because he wasn’t. It was a surprise due to the presence of Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome II, Greedy Williams, Troy Hill, and A.J. Green. However, the Browns quickly traded Hill and injuries to Williams and now Ward has thrust Emerson into a starting role.
The rookie has accepted the challenge with open arms and in Cleveland’s Week 8 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, he had his best game of the year. Matched up against Tee Higgins — who was the No. 1 wideout since Ja’Marr Chase was hurt — Emerson shut him down.
With three passes going toward Higgins, Emerson allowed two receptions for a mere eight yards. He deflected the third pass and allowed no first downs.
On the season, Emerson has 36 tackles, a sack, and six pass defenses. He’s also graded at 76.2 overall by PFF which has him in the top 20 in the NFL at the position.
Cleveland Browns have a lot of talent, and youth in the secondary
As good as Emerson has been, he’s not alone in playing well this season for the Browns. They have several young cornerbacks who continue to impress including second-year player Greg Newsome and former undrafted free agent A.J. Green — who recorded a pick in Week 8.
There are concerns about Ward who has been dealing with a concussion for nearly a month and already had durability issues before that. But even if he continues to struggle to stay on the field, this secondary has a lot of young talent.
In a passing league, that’s a necessity to compete — and Emerson could find himself the leader of this unit should he continue to show out as he has during his rookie campaign.