Browns cornerback duo ranked No. 2 in the NFL by Bleacher Report

Bleacher Report has high expectations for Denzel Ward, Martin Emerson
Cleveland Browns, Denzel Ward, Martin Emerson Jr.
Cleveland Browns, Denzel Ward, Martin Emerson Jr. / Jason Miller/GettyImages

Denzel Ward and Martin Emerson, Jr. have been excellent for the Cleveland Browns and they're getting recognized for the work they've done. Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report recently ranked the top 10 cornerback duos in the NFL and put the Cleveland defensive backs at second overall.

Moton has them just ahead of the New York Jets, saying Emerson is a better No. 2 at this point than D.J. Reed, which gives the Browns the edge. At No. 1, he has Trevon Diggs and DaRon Bland of the Dallas Cowboys. It's hard to argue against this, since those two are absolute game-changers, with Bland recording 14 interceptions in the past two seasons.

Still, Ward and Emerson are in the mix and have proven to be capable of holding their own against anyone. Ward, the leader of the secondary, was praised for his ability to make big plays which includes four defensive touchdowns.

"Ward, 27, has recorded double-digit pass breakups in all six of his seasons and 15 interceptions in total. He has also scored four defensive touchdowns, two pick-sixes and a couple on fumble recoveries." — Maurice Moton, Bleacher Report

Emerson is applauded for his ability to create turnovers as well with Moton pointing out that he had four picks in 2023 to lead the Browns. He also broke up 14 passes, which tied him with Greg Newsome II, the nickel corner in Cleveland.

If Newsome was thrown into the mix and this was a rating of the top three corners, Cleveland would likely have the edge. They remain as deep as anyone in the NFL and all three defensive backs are under contract through at least the 2025 season.

Emerson, who was a Pro Bowl snub in 2023, is the most surprising of the group. Ward was the fourth overall selection in 2018 and Newsome was taken 26th overall, so they were expected to be starters. Emerson, on the other hand, was the 68th selection in 2022. Despite being a third-round pick, he has been one of the better cornerbacks on the team since he arrived and is only getting better with more experience.

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