The Cleveland Browns took another big injury hit on Sunday when it was announced that safety Rodney McLeod will miss the rest of the season due to a biceps injury. In order to help soften the blow, the team announced that they have signed 3-time Super Bowl Champion defensive back Duron Harmon.
Harmon is an experienced safety who has had a lot of success in the league over the years and actually had one of his best seasons in 2022 with the Las Vegas Raiders.
Pass Deflections: 5
Forced Fumbles: 2
PFF Grade: 72.3
Harmon will provide the Browns with a lot of the experience and leadership ability in the secondary that they lost with McLeod. He’s another versatile safety who has played all over the field for defenses and can be utilized in the same ways that Jim Schwartz used McLeod.
New #Browns safety Duron Harmon is such an excellent fit for what Jim Schwartz wants to do in the secondary.— Matt Wilson (@CoachWilson66) November 22, 2023
He had an overall coverage grade of 77.6 in 2022 with the Raiders as well.#DawgPound
He had a 77.6 coverage grade in 2022, which is far above average for the strong safety position. Harmon’s instincts and ball skills have allowed him to consistently be in the right spot when it comes to navigating inside of passing lanes and diagnosing route combos.
Though he’s not necessarily known for his ability to stop the run, he's more than capable of doing so as evidenced by his production in that category over the past three seasons for the Lions, Falcons, and Raiders.
In addition to the Harmon signing, Cleveland has a couple of in-house options at their disposal as well to help with the Rodney McLeod damage control:
Bell is currently one of the team’s core special teamers, specifically on the punt and kickoff units. He’s a bigger, box-type safety who’s naturally an excellent tackler and does a great job against the run while showing adequate coverage ability as well. He started a couple of games for the Browns in 2022 but has only participated in 4% of total defensive snaps so far in 2023.
Hickman is currently in his rookie season after signing with the team as a UDFA after the 2023 NFL Draft. He had a very successful and productive preseason with the team that resulted in him making the 53-man active roster heading into the regular season. He has shown a lot of improvement in pass coverage since being signed and is happy to step up and make stops against the run. He has participated in 19% of total defensive snaps this season and had a particularly good showing against Pittsburgh last weekend.
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