Gary Horton from Scouts Inc. put together a list of 10 AFC players who will take their game to the next level this season. Only one player from the AFC North made the "breakout" blog: Browns cornerback Joe Haden.
You'll need an Insider subscription to read the entire piece and see where Haden ranks on the list, but this is a portion of what Horton had to say about the Browns' 2010 first-round pick:
He is a shutdown corner already, and his coaches have so much confidence in him that a lot of the time they let him follow the best receiver all over the field. His upside is huge, but he is going to have to be more consistent and make more big plays if he is going to face the best wide receiver the opposition has to offer on a weekly basis.
Everyone knows my respect for Haden. He is the most talented cornerback in the division and has broken up 37 passes in his first two seasons. He held his own against some of the best receivers in the NFL, from Larry Fitzgerald to Brandon Marshall. His worst games came against Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green.
Haden would really boost his stock by picking off the quarterback more often. He didn't have an interception last season after having six as a rookie.