In Part 2 of our training camp preview on Cleveland Browns cornerbacks, we take a look at Trevin Wade, Kent Richardson, and Vernon Kearney.
5. TREVIN WADE - COMPETING FOR FIFTH CORNERBACK
A seventh-round pick in 2012, Trevin Wade made the final roster after a pretty good training camp. His coverage during the preseason and training camp was outstanding, to the point where I once said, "it'll be tough to see a guy with his talent stuck as the fifth cornerback when Dimitri Patterson comes back."
Wade played in 13 regular season games, mostly as a reserve, and registered 17 combined tackles on the season. Unfortunately, the play that stood out to me was when he lost track of Bengals wide receiver Andrew Hawkins in Week 2, which eventually led to a heartbreaking touchdown against our defense.
With Sheldon Brown and Dimitri Patterson departing in the offseason, you'd think this would be the perfect opportunity for Wade to shine. Instead, he'll be having to fight for a roster spot, as he is behind new additions Chris Owens and Leon McFadden on the depth chart. Because of the great camp he had a year ago, I think he can put on a similar performance in 2013 and impress the new coaching staff enough to make the roster again.
Final Roster Odds: 60%
6. KENT RICHARDSON - THE ARENA LEAGUE SENSATION
Name-wise, things could get interesting in camp if Kent Richardson squares up against Trent Richardson. No, they are not related in any way, but their names certainly roll off the tongue in a similar fashion.
Richardson has a pretty interesting backstory, and it is the reason I ranked him ahead of the other four undrafted free agents on the roster. First off, you might wonder about Richardson's age: as a 26 year old, he would seem to give Brandon Weeden a run for his money in the category of elder rookies. In actuality, Richardson has been playing in the Arena Football League for the past two seasons as a member of the Philadelphia Soul.
In 2012, Richardson led the AFL with 14 interceptions, was named the Defensive Back of the Year, and was named to the 1st-Team All Arena. He planned on returning to the AFL in 2013, but was placed on the exempt list after the Browns signed him to a futures/reserve contract back in January. He'll have a job if he doesn't make it with Cleveland. We'll see how his skills translate to the NFL; can a star in one league make a dent in another?
Final Roster Odds: 30%
Practice Squad Odds: 50%
7. VERNON KEARNEY - UNDRAFTED FREE AGENT CORNERBACK
After the draft, Vernon Kearney signed with the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent. He was released in early June, and the Browns decided to waive defensive back Prince Miller to sign Kearney.
Kearney has some height at 6'2", and he weighs 185 pounds. That height makes him the tallest defensive back on the Browns by at least two inches. Dane Bruglar of CBS Sports had him ranked as the 39th best cornerback in his pre-draft rankings. In his senior year at Lane College, he finished the season with 24 tackles and 2 interceptions.
You can check out this pre-draft interview that Pro Football Zone did with Kearney back in March, where the rookie cornerback says that he feels he has room to improve on his press coverage, and that scouts told him he could add a little bit of weight.
Final Roster Odds: 10%
Practice Squad Odds: 30%
On Monday, we will have our final positional preview for training camp when we cover cornerbacks Josh Aubrey, Akeem Auguste, and Abdul Kanneh. Today's poll asks which of the three players from today's preview would you like to see make the roster.