As the Cleveland Browns continue to have one of the better defensive units in the NFL, it may soon see an increased snap presence from rookie cornerback Leon McFadden.
In a recent edition of “Hey Mary,” Cleveland Plain Dealer beat writer stated that McFadden should have a larger role once the Browns come out of their bye week.
“I have complete confidence in him.” said Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton on the 23-year old out of San Diego State. “[I have] no reservations whatsoever. He’s ready to play.”
What an “increase” represents remains to be seen as McFadden has only seen three snaps as a cornerback, recording his only statistics as a member of the special teams unit. Any playing time McFadden gets would likely come at the expense of Chris Owens or Buster Skrine. Per Pro Football Focus, 68.2 percent of passes thrown to a receiver covered by Owens have been caught, representing the seventh-worst mark amongst cornerbacks to play in at least 50 percent of his team’s snaps. Only two players in the league (Baltimore’s Corey Graham, Detroit’s Rashean Mathis) have been thrown at more often while having played fewer total snaps.
McFadden missed a portion of training camp thanks to a pulled groin and had yet to get his name in the mix for passing packages. NFL Films guru Greg Cosell called him “an absolutely terrific player” in the pre-draft process, despite his small stature (5-foot-9 5/8, 193). Whether or not he can capitlalize on this potential playing time will soon be determined.
[Related: Sweeping The Bengals: Can The Browns Pull It Off?]