Mar 7, 2014; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back Carlos Hyde works out in front of NFL scouts on pro day at The Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Does Signing Ben Tate Impact the Browns NFL Draft?


The Cleveland Browns signed Ben Tate who will start for the team in their new Zone Blocking Scheme. Tate has been a back up with the Texans and fought through injuries during his early career. For the Browns, who still have a huge amount of cap space, the signing is a low risk proposition. Two years gives the Browns time to see what Tate can do as a starter and if he shows he isn’t starter quality they are done with him. If he explodes in his new role the team will a decision to make for a new contract for a player who is 27. The question today is does the signing of Tate change the Browns plans in the NFL Draft?

The Browns have 10 draft picks in this year’s draft. The team has a number of draft needs including quarterback, wide receiver, offensive line, defensive backs and linebacker. Additional defensive linemen and tight end could also be targeted. Where does that place running back now that the depth chart is topped by Tate followed by Chris Ogbonnaya, Edwin Baker, Dion Lewis and Fozzy Whitaker? The Browns may not want to add 10 rookies to their roster and could use some of the picks to trade up from their current positions, but if they don’t using a pick on running back makes a lot of sense if we look to the past.

The Browns famously have struggled with filling the quarterback position but a look back at the running back position is almost as sad. Instead of having players like Derek Anderson, who have a few good games then disappear, Browns running backs have made it almost a year before falling off a cliff, either due to age or skill level.  Peyton Hillis, Jamal Lewis, Jerome Harrison are among the names that littered among the Browns history. Given that there is an argument, that this writer subscribes to, of drafting 2 quarterbacks in this draft, so signing Tate and drafting a RB fits this mold as well. If your team hasn’t had a good QB or RB doesn’t getting 2 that could be good make a great deal of sense?

In the draft there are a number of good running backs that won’t be drafted until the mid rounds. So the Browns won’t have to use their high picks instead they could use a 3rd day pick on a player who could start for them in the next few years after Tate’s contract runs out. Carlos Hyde, an Ohio State Buckeye favorite, could be an option starting with the Browns extra 3rd round pick, which could also be the first back taken at that late in the round.

What do you think: Use a draft pick on a RB even after signing Tate? Or mark down the RB position as solidified and move on to another position of need?

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Ben Tate Cleveland Browns

  • Brian Barker

    For Sure Draft A RB

  • Jarod Cook

    Historical speaking FA RB don’t do good for the team they sign with. But the Browns picked a player who can add depth to a position of need, and didn’t overpay for him. I like Tate but he’s always injured, mostly do to his style of running. If he can stay healthy I see no reason why he can’t be a cowbell RB for the Browns. Ogbo, Baker and Lewis proved serviceable last season, and can be used as platoon of RB with Tate. The backfield looks a little crowded but injuries can easily thin it out, which it almost always does to the Browns. I like to see them take 2 RB’s in the draft 1 in the 3rd or 4th, and 1 somewhere in rd 5-7. I’m not to sold on Hyde, and I’m an OSU fan. He looked good because of powder puff scheduling and QB that ran for as many yards as he did. I like Mason or Hill better because they played against tougher competition in collage. With the 1st 3 picks they should focus on WR/OL/ILB, in the 3rd RB/QB, in the 4th LB/WR, in rds 5-7 get RB/QB/OL. They come out of the draft with 2 WR/LB/RB/QB/OL, if 1 player at each of those positions turn out to be near or are pro bowl caliber starters this draft will be a success in my eyes.

  • Letterman007

    I would say yes sign a running back in the third round or later just for depth at the position. What happens if Tate goes down for a few games? There are enough backs in the draft to get a decent one late and bring him along slowly or, if need be use him to play if Tate needs a week off or more!! Better than bringing back someone who is washed up like last year!!!

  • Gary

    I think signing Tate takes away any chance of browns getting Hyde.
    Who I believe is the better choice of starting running back. Just not sold on Tate as being a starter since he has been a backup his entire career.