In Part 2 of our training camp preview on cornerbacks, we look at the other three players battling for a roster spot. The level of competition at cornerback shows you just how deep the position is in 2014.
7. AARON BERRY - VETERAN BACKUP CORNERBACK
Height: 5-9 | Weight: 190
Age: 26 | Experience: 5 years
Note: Connection with Pettine from Jets days...has a bit of a checkered past.
Since entering the league in 2010 as an undrafted free agent with the Detroit Lions, Aaron Berry has received more publicity for his off-the-field issues than his on-field work. The Browns first gave Berry a workout back in March, but didn't sign him until early June.
Mike Pettine was the Jets' defensive coordinator in 2012, a season in which Berry played 7 games but only registered 2 tackles. Berry missed all of 2013 with a torn ACL, but that shouldn't be an issue for him now. The Browns feel that Berry has put his act together, and although he faces an uphill battle trying to make the roster, never say never.
When the Browns signed Berry, GM Ray Farmer noted that before his injury, Berry's strength as a cornerback was man coverage, and that if he could find an opportunity to contribute on the coverage units. Can Berry rise from the ashes to revive his career?
Final Roster Odds: 20%
8. T.J. HEATH - VETERAN BACKUP CORNERBACK
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 190
Age: 26 | Experience: 2 years
College: Jacksonville State
Note: Spent training camp with Pettine last year in Buffalo...did well in OTAs, per Zegura.
T.J. Heath is actually somewhat of a veteran. He was an undrafted free agent back in 2011, where he spent some time in the offseason with the Jaguars. In 2012, he spent training camp with the Bengals and then spent all year on the Bills' practice squad. He didn't make the Bills' final roster in 2013, and had been idle until the Browns signed him to their practice squad last December.
Heath was described by Nathan Zegura of Browns Daily as one of the standouts of the OTA sessions. Mike Pettine would have been his defensive coordinator in training camp with the Bills last year, so it would make sense if he gets a few more reps early on in camp due to familiarity with the system. If that familiarity translates to him making plays, maybe Heath will be a dark horse to make the roster.
Final Roster Odds: 20%
9. K'WAUN WILLIAMS - UNDRAFTED FREE AGENT CORNERBACK
Height: 5-9 | Weight: 183
Age: 23 | Experience: Rookie
Note: Only UDFA cornerback on the team...could be battling for a practice squad spot.
Sadly for K'Waun Williams, he's in a lonely place as the only undrafted free agent cornerback on the team. Not only are there six cornerbacks favored to make the roster, the two guys ahead of him in today's preview are veterans in their own right, each with a connection to Mike Pettine.
Williams had participated in rookie minicamp in May on a tryout basis. He was not among the original crop of undrafted players signed, but the team still wanted to give him a shot apparently. According to DraftInsider, Williams, "was a consistent cornerback at Pittsburgh and offers enough ability to make a roster as a ninth defensive back." Again, if Williams were on another team, maybe he'd have a shot. Since he is the only undrafted free agent cornerback, though, if he does well, that does increase his odds of landing on the practice squad.
Final Roster Odds: 1%
Practice Squad Odds: 20%
Up next, we're going to logjam all seven of the safeties on the roster into one post for our final training camp positional preview. The poll below asks which of the players in today's preview is unrelated to the cornerbacks in today's preview, but still relevant to the cornerback position in general.