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Cleveland Browns Training Camp 2017: CB Preview, Part 3

We finish off the cornerback preview with one contender and some players trying to stick on the practice squad.

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In Part 3 of our cornerback preview on the Cleveland Browns, we look at the final four players at the position, including three undrafted free agents the team loaded up on after the draft.

8. Najee Murray - Rookie Undrafted Cornerback

NFL: Cleveland Browns-OTA Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 5-8 | Weight: 182 lbs | Age: 23
Experience: Rookie | College: Kent State

When the Browns had their rookie minicamp in mid-May, 17 players were invited to attend on a tryout basis. The Browns originally signed two of their tryouts, including Murray, but now he is the only tryout player left standing.

Murray is a welcome sight for Browns fans. He went to Kent State University and was ranked as the 24th best undrafted free agent by Pro Football Focus. Some were surprised he was only a tryout player and not one of the team’s initial signings following the draft. Here is what PFF had to say about him:

Murray’s 86.0 overall grade ranked 15th among cornerbacks in 2016 as he broke up nine passes and intercepted two more while allowing a passer rating of only 38.4 into his coverage, good for seventh in the nation among cornerbacks with at least 40 targets.

He also received high praise for his work in the slot, including on this play against Penn State:

PFF noted that when Muray was lined up in the slot, he allowed a QB rating of 37.8, which was the best among all FBS cornerbacks. In a recent interview with Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report, Murray said the team has been working him at the nickel spot: “The [Browns defensive staff] said I have specialized tools to play [the nickel] position.” We’ve seen a guy like K’Waun Williams come on strong out of no where before, and Murray seems to be headed down that same path.

Final Roster Odds: 35%

9. Alvin Hill - Rookie Undrafted Cornerback

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Maryland Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 6-0 | Weight: 201 lbs | Age: 23
Experience: Rookie | College: Maryland

Hill is an undrafted free agent cornerback who the Browns signed after the draft. He started 17 games at Maryland, finishing with 106 career tackles, 11 passes defended, and 3 interceptions. He had limited rolls in his first two years at Maryland and tore his PCL during his junior season. However, he came back as a senior with his best season, logging 51 tackles and 2 interceptions.

An amusing story about Hill is that before last season, he took a ballet class, noting how he heard it “could help him jump higher, faster, quicker, and prevent injuries.” Given his performance, maybe it paid off. He was not invited to the NFL Combine, but you can view one of his highlights in this clip of him intercepting a pass against Michigan State.

Final Roster Odds: 5%

10. Darius Hillary - Backup Cornerback

NFL: Cleveland Browns-Minicamp
Darius Hillary (28) defends.
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 5-10 | Weight: 183 lbs | Age: 24
Experience: 1 year | College: Wisconsin

The Cincinnati Bengals signed Hillary as an undrafted free agent last year. He didn't make the team's final roster out of training camp, but was on their practice squad for a month. The Browns then had him on their practice squad for a month before calling him up to the main roster for one game in late October (which he was inactive for). He spent the rest of the year on the practice squad.

Hillary played college at Wisconsin, where he started in 40 games. Our Wisconsin affiliate provided the following assessment on him:

Hillary was been a huge part of the ultra-productive and impressive Badger defenses over his last two seasons. He lined up all over the field, and his versatility will appeal to NFL teams moving forward. The question will be asked: How much of his production (or lack thereof) was created by him, or by his strong supporting cast? I certainly think that there's a place in the NFL for Hillary, likely as a special teamer initially, before he possibly becomes a nickel slot corner.

Final Roster Odds: 5%

11. J.D. Harmon - Rookie Undrafted Cornerback

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 6-0 | Weight: 196 lbs | Age: 23
Experience: Rookie | College: Kentucky

Harmon is an undrafted free agent cornerback who the Browns signed after the draft. He tried to make Kentucky’s team as a wide receiver, but was moved to cornerback and started right away as a freshman. He played in 49 total games with 120 tackles and 7 interceptions. As a senior, he logged 39 tackles and 2 interceptions, and his good ball skills are attributed to his earlier experience as a wide receiver.

Harmon was once called out by his college coach, Bob Stoops, for not being able to trust his freelancing on special teams. However, he overcame that to be regarded as the team’s best special teams player over his final two seasons. Here was an interview Harmon did after being signed by the Browns:

Final Roster Odds: 5%

Here are your poll questions for Part 3:


Do you think Najee Murray will make the Browns’ 53-man roster?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    (186 votes)
  • 60%
    (279 votes)
465 votes total Vote Now


Which of these three players are you most intrigued by?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Alvin Hill
    (111 votes)
  • 18%
    Darius Hillary
    (72 votes)
  • 53%
    J.D. Harmon
    (209 votes)
392 votes total Vote Now