AFC North Top 25: 17th-ranked player

July, 14, 2012
7/14/12
10:00
AM ET
The AFC North blog is continuing its series on the top 25 players in the division with No. 17:

Haden
Haden
JOE HADEN

Browns cornerback

Why Haden is ranked 17th: He's the most talented cornerback in the division, even though the Ravens' Lardarius Webb had a more successful 2011 season based on statistics. Haden held his own against some of the best receivers in the NFL, from Larry Fitzgerald to Brandon Marshall. But, as ESPN's KC Joyner pointed out, the yards per attempt against Haden jumped from an impressive 6.2 in 2010 to 8.0 in 2011, which is a disappointing step back.

Where Haden will improve this season is getting back to being a playmaker. He didn't make an interception last season after having six as a rookie. The bottom line is Haden is close to becoming a Pro Bowl defender. The seventh overall pick of the 2010 draft has the speed and athleticism to match up against No. 1 receivers and has the strength to make an impact against the run.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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