Every year, Pro Football Focus unveils one "secret superstar" who is on the Cleveland Browns' roster.
In 2012, it was SS T.J. Ward. He made the Pro Bowl one year later.
- In 2013, it was OG John Greco. A few months later, he signed a 4-year extension.
- In 2014, it was DL John Hughes. This offseason, he signed a 4-year extension.
PFF has done pretty well projecting long-term success, so who is their next "secret superstar?" Heading into 2015, that honor goes to CB K'Waun Williams. In highlighting Williams' background, PFF marvels at how Williams was only signed on after a rookie tryout and he barely played in the preseason, yet made the team's roster and quickly became the third cornerback over first-round CB Justin Gilbert.
He finished 2014 with the sixth-highest coverage grade of all cornerbacks, despite playing less than 400 snaps. He allowed 1.06 Yards Per Coverage Snap, which was only tied for 29th in the league, so there is some room for improvement there, with similar room for improvement from the slot, where his 1.10 YPCS was tied for 24th.
As always, the concern with a player like Williams is the limited sample size but, from what we’ve seen, he has a very bright future ahead of him. In today’s NFL, with the focus on passing, a third cornerback is essentially a starter anyway, but with the addition of Tramon Williams opposite Joe Haden, it looks like Williams will be battling with both Gilbert and Desir for that role.
PFF also discusses a sequence of plays that Williams made in his first breakout effort against the Tennessee Titans. Regardless of how much Gilbert or Desir have improved this offseason, I would be stunned if either of them take the nickel corner spot away from Williams. The real competition will be between Gilbert and Tramon Williams as the season goes along, with Desir filling in for depth purposes as needed. Looking at Cleveland's situation, it's clear why the team did not make a major push to re-sign Buster Skrine.