Cleveland Browns Draft Success #3: Joe Haden

Before I start talking about Joe Haden, I wanted to say that I decided to only pick one player from the 2010 draft class for this list. Some of you might be crying for safety T.J. Ward and Colt McCoy to appear on this list, but here is why they aren't here:

  • They have only played for one season (or less, in McCoy's case).
  • Ward received a lot of hype and I'm still exciting to see him grow, but he was far from a dominant player last season and the jury is still out on how good he can be.
  • If you call McCoy enough of a success to make this list with how little he has played, then we have different perspectives on how this list should be composed. I did it based on proven play, not potential.

What about Haden then? He has only played one season, but I thought he looked like a Pro Bowl caliber player. The confidence he showed as he captured a starting role over Eric Wright was unlike what I have seen of any of the other Browns' cornerbacks since 1999. In instances where he was beat down the field, he showed good recovery speed and could make a play on the football. I was surprised at how good of a tackler he was too; while Ward was expected to be the big hitter, I came away with more memories of Haden making pivotal stops.

In terms of being in Cleveland, Haden just gets it. Joshua Cribbs has historically done a terrific job playing to the hearts of Cleveland fans off the field, and Haden quickly followed in his footsteps. How giddy did you feel to see Haden show up to so many Cavaliers games to support the...LeBronless basketball team? Is it only a matter of time before we start seeing Haden pop in at a few Indians games? We shall see.

I wanted Eric Berry over Haden in the first round last year, and I felt disappointed that we didn't get Berry. While Berry isn't a bust, Haden turned out to be an outstanding pick and one that I would not ask Tom Heckert to go back on.


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