In Part 1 of our safety preview, we covered the three players who are expected to compete for two starting roles. Today, we look at the other two safeties on the team -- Jamoris Slaughter and Kenronte Walker.
4. JAMORIS SLAUGHTER - BACKUP ROOKIE SAFETY
There is actually a third safety who could legitimately compete for the starting role at free safety, and that is rookie sixth-round pick Jamoris Slaughter. Slaughter's senior season at Notre Dame was cut short when he ruptured his Achilles' tendon early in the season. He was limited to just workouts during the Browns' offseason programs, but has been cleared to practice for the start of training camp, presumably with no restrictions.
When the Browns drafted Slaughter, members of the national media seemed to love to pick, believing he has the talent to be a starting NFL safety one day, and perhaps even this season.
If he isn't a starter, though, ESPN Rumor Central's Brent Sobleski still thinks Ray Horton will find a way to take advantage of Slaughter's versatility: "Once healthy, Horton will like Slaughter due to versatility. He can play either safety, cover the slot, and even did some linebacker hybrid stuff while at Notre Dame." That versatility also makes him a strong contender to see a lot of action on special teams.
Final Roster Odds: 90%
Practice Squad Odds: 95% (if he were cut)
5. KENRONTE WALKER - UNDRAFTED FREE AGENT SAFETY
If you would have asked me, "When was Eric Hagg waived?," I probably would have thought it was before the draft. Looking back, he was actually waived in mid-May (among a couple of other players). One of the players signed to take Hagg's spot was undrafted free agent safety Kenronte Walker.
When the draft first ended at the end of April, there were reports indicating that Walker had signed with the Browns. He did not, but the fact that he was signed a few weeks later validates the fact that there was always some post-draft interest in Walker.
That's the backstory of his he came to be a member of the Browns -- in terms of what we know about him, there isn't much information. He finished his senior season at Missouri with 68 tackles and 1 interception. He played free safety in 2011 before switching over to strong safety in 2012. If Slaughter doesn't look right returning from injury, Walker could actually make the roster as a backup safety by default.
Final Roster Odds: 10%
Practice Squad Odds: 15%
There are eight cornerbacks left to cover, and then we'll have gone through all 89 players on the roster. One of those eight cornerbacks may actually see work at safety this camp, but we won't know that until a week from now when it happens. Today's poll asks who you would like to see start at free safety to begin the 2013 season.