Martin Emerson ranked higher than Browns teammates Greg Newsome, Denzel Ward

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns
Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns / Nick Cammett/GettyImages

Entering the 2023 season, the Cleveland Browns feel great about their secondary. The addition of Juan Thornhill and Rodney McLeod at safety has solidified the back end and should allow their talented cornerbacks to thrive in man coverage — which is where they're at their best.

Cleveland features two first-round picks in Denzel Ward and Greg Newsome II, but according to Arif Hasan of Pro Football Network, those two still come behind Martin Emerson. A third-round pick in 2022, Emerson played well as a rookie and Hasan recently ranked him 25th overall in the NFL.

"He only allowed a 50 percent completion rate in coverage and shined when he could play in man coverage. Emerson plays with physicality and does a great job rerouting receivers and disrupting timing, and with all of the potential the Browns have on their back end, they could end up as a sneaky pick for one of the top defenses in the NFL."

Hasan, PFN

Hasan, who ranked the top 32 corners in the league, also had Ward on the list. The former Ohio State Buckeye was 29th overall despite having what Hasan called a "down year." He says that Ward has the athleticism needed and is highly technical but believes confidence held him back.

As for Newsome, he didn't make the cut. The Northwestern product has been solid but Hasan clearly believes he's been outplayed by their top pick from a year ago.

Emerson's emergence in 2022 had some questioning the future of Newsome in Cleveland, especially after it was made clear Newsome wasn't a fan of playing in the slot. Those rumors reached a fever pitch when Newsome hired super agent Drew Rosenhaus, but he's continued to say he's happy in Cleveland and has apparently bought into the defensive scheme Jim Schwartz has introduced.

Newsome even moved around early during OTAs, lining up in the slot at times.

3 early standouts at Browns OTA's. dark. Next. 3 early standouts at Browns OTA's

Even with Newsome on the outside of the top 32, it's impressive to see two Cleveland corners on the list. In a pass-happy league, you can never have too many good cornerbacks and the Browns have three very good ones.