Cleveland Browns: Martin Emerson is one of the best rookies in the NFL this year
Martin Emerson was the Cleveland Browns first pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and entering Week 10, he’s been one of the best rookies in the league
Martin Emerson, Jr. has been one of the better draft picks for the Cleveland Browns in the past few years. After trading out of Round 2, the Browns were finally on the clock at No. 68 in the 2022 NFL Draft (their first-round pick belonged to Houston as part of the Deshaun Watson trade) and took the Mississippi State product.
At first, it was a head-scratcher since they had two first-round picks and a second-rounder at cornerback but Emerson has been pressed into action often as a rookie. And he’s responded in a major way.
Emerson has appeared in eight games with three starts and has 36 tackles and a sack to his credit. He has yet to record an interception but he’s still making plays on the ball. According to PFF, he’s forced eight incompletions which is fourth in the league and second among rookies.
Emerson has been playing well all season but it was his latest start that really got him noticed outside of Cleveland.
On Monday Night Football, Emerson was starting in place of an injured Denzel Ward and according to NFL Insider Jordan Schultz, he allowed just eight yards to Tee Higgins and gave up no first downs in 10 targets.
"“Facing Joe Burrow and the red-hot Bengals, Emerson was targeted 10 times and didn’t allow a single first down while giving up just two catches for eight yards against WR Tee Higgins. The former Mississippi State Bulldog ranks 17th overall out of the 110 CBs graded by PFF.” — Schultz, The Score"
Schultz named Emerson one of the primary rookies that deserve more attention around the league this season and those who watch him every week would surely agree.
Emerson brings stability to the Browns secondary
One of the primary concerns in the secondary for Cleveland has been availability. As good as Ward, Greg Newsome, and Greedy Williams have been in their respective careers, all have battled injuries at one point.
Emerson, on the other hand, has suited up for all eight games. He also rarely missed snaps during his collegiate days, which is a welcome sign for a team in need of durable players.
Again, he’s not flashy but he makes very few mistakes and forces opponents to work for every yard they gain. That’s what it takes to have a long career in the NFL at this position and Emerson looks poised to be a star in no time.