The Cleveland Browns are considered one of the more talented teams in all of football. Last season, the Browns underperformed and missed out on the playoffs a year after reaching the AFC Divisional Round. One of the bigger issues was inconsistency in the secondary. That prompted Cleveland to draft Martin Emerson Jr. with the 68th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Emerson Jr. is a three-year starter out of Mississippi State and is likely to see a lot of the field as a rookie. As Browns training camp resumes, there is one factor that is likely to prepare him for the season; practicing against Amari Cooper.
Cooper is known as one of the best route-runners in the NFL. The Browns rookie corner talked about it after practice Friday.
#Browns rookie CB Martin Emerson Jr. says he’s learned a lot from going against Amari Cooper. pic.twitter.com/QKyQOhlP1n
— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) August 5, 2022
“Cooper, man, he’s a great player. He makes me stay patient… I love going against him. He’s a real route-runner, he’s a great player… It’s fun. It’s a challenge though, so I need to step up to the plate,” Emerson Jr. said.
The Browns starting cornerbacks are Denzel Ward and Greg Newsome II. But Cleveland has struggled to find a good slot corner, which has become so much more important in today’s NFL.
Emerson Jr. was a fantastic player in college. During his junior season in 2021, he finished with an 89.6 coverage grade, the highest of any cornerback in college football since 2020. He allowed one or fewer receptions in six different games, and that’s playing in the SEC.
Lining up against Cooper is likely to only make him better and prepare him for NFL wide receivers.