The Cleveland Browns’ 2023 NFL Draft class has been headlined by the solid play of both RT Dawand Jones and WR Cedric Tillman, but it looks like somebody else from the class has begun to stand out as well down the stretch.
The Browns selected CB Cameron Mitchell in the 5th round of this year’s draft because of the team's uncertainty at the slot corner position heading into 2023. Not only did Greg Newsome voice his displeasure about playing the role in 2022, but he also didn’t play very well either. He was consistently pushed around by bigger slot receivers or tight ends, and he isn’t very good at the point of attack against the run. He’s much better on the outside and has more than proven that this season.
Mitchell has been doing a great job on special teams throughout the year, consistently showing his physicality and ability to tackle consistently. This is an extremely underrated aspect of playing in the slot due to the considerable amount of contact that comes with the part in comparison to playing in a traditional field or boundary cornerback role.
Though Mitchell’s only participated in 35% of Cleveland’s total defensive snaps this year, he’s played very well so far when on the field. He played particularly well against the Arizona Cardinals in week 9 as well as against the Chicago Bears in week 15. He made a huge 4th down stop against Chicago when he was able to fight his way through traffic and “trip up” Justin Fields before he was able to get a big 1st down in the 4th quarter.
If Fields was successful in getting that 1st down, the game could’ve very well been over for the Browns. He also sacked Fields in the game on a nicely designed corner blitz.
He and Martin Emerson Jr. have stood out as two of Cleveland’s most physical guys in the cornerback room, and Mitchell has shown the potential, attitude, and overall skillset to force his way onto the field a lot more in the future.
How do you feel about the members of Cleveland’s 2023 NFL Draft class so far? Join fellow Browns fans in the comment section below.