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Friday, April 23, 2010
Haden brings game, personality to Browns

By James Walker

BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns first-round pick Joe Haden has the charisma to light up a room.

Joe Haden
The addition of Joe Haden gives the Browns arguably the deepest group of cornerbacks in the division.
Haden described himself as "outgoing, funny, and just likes to have a good time"  in his introductory news conference. "I can't stand being around people trying to bring me down."

But the Browns are hoping Haden's abilities help bring down opposing offenses. The former Florida cornerback is the first and signature pick of the Mike Holmgren era in Cleveland.

The team landed the draft's top-rated cornerback at No. 7 with hopes of improving its No. 31-rated defense. Haden will combine with new teammates Sheldon Brown and Eric Wright to form arguably the deepest group of cornerbacks in the AFC North.

With quality receivers such as Anquan Boldin, Chad Ochocinco and Hines Ward within the division, Haden definitely has his work cut out for him. The aforementioned trio all recorded more than 1,000 yards receiving last season.

"It's going to be a challenge, of course," Haden said. "But I'm ready for everything. I'm just so blessed and honored too, because when I played at Florida I played against Andre Caldwell, Louis Murphy and Percy Harvin every day in practice. So playing against those dudes definitely got me ready for the next level."

There have been a lot of reports about Cleveland's draft intentions. The Browns attempted to trade up to the No. 1 overall pick to get former Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, and they also had interest in former Tennessee safety Eric Berry, who went No. 5 to the Kansas City Chiefs.

In the end, the Browns stood pat and took the best player on their draft board.

"He's one of the great young men that I've ever had the privilege of studying and meeting," Holmgren said. "So as far as how we feel about this first pick, I really believe we hit a home run."