Last season, the back end of the Browns defense was dismal. So far this off-season the Browns have acquired numerous defensive backs to help that and there could be more coming in the upcoming draft. One player that many are forgetting about is Howard Wilson who was drafted last year in the 4th round but got injured and spent the entire season on the PUP list.
Coming out of college he was considered a good cornerback option in the later part of the draft. He is 6’1” and 184 lbs. He showed good speed when he ran the 40-yard dash at the Combine in 4.57 seconds and completed the three cone drill in 6.68 seconds. He is considered a ball-hawk and does a good job making plays.
As a freshman in 2014, he showed his athleticism and ball skills. In the 2015 season, he went down with an injury that only allowed him to play three games but Wilson came back with a vengeance in 2016 as he recorded 54 tackles, five interceptions and had 10 passes defended.
With many NFL teams lining up with three or four wide receivers, defenses need to combat that by playing in the nickel or dime. While new acquisitions, E.J. Gaines, T.J. Carrie and Terrance Mitchell will probably share most of the playing time along with Jamar Taylor and Briean Boddy-Calhoun, there is no reason why Wilson will not be a part of the rotation at cornerback.
Additionally, he can add some stability to special teams, much like what the Browns had with WR Marlon Moore and SS Johnson Bademosi. Both were considered special teamers but also had the opportunity to play on their perspective side of the ball to give a different look or to give a starter a breather.
I am not concerned about last season’s injury as Wilson has already proved he can come back from an injury and play very well as he did in college. Hopefully, the Browns will have an opportunity to see Wilson play at a high level and grow into, at least, a solid contributor on defense.