The Cleveland Browns added to their RB position but it would be wise to add more there during the draft.
Free agency moves are ongoing and one team that is getting plenty of airtime thanks to their acquisitions is the Cleveland Browns. One, in particular, was the unofficial signing of running back Carlos Hyde, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers.
Hyde has had injury concerns in the past with 2017 being the lone season so far in which he played in every game.
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However, despite missing some time, Hyde did surpass former starter Isaiah Crowell‘s stats the last two seasons: 1,926 yards and 14 touchdowns to 1,805 yards and nine scores.
While there are similarities to Crowell (who signed with the New York Jets), there are also differences to note. Hyde is the bruising, run between the tackles kind of back. It doesn’t take him long to make a decision on which direction to go. He is also a better blocker than Crowell.
Crowell ran between the tackles too but he also took too long to make his way past the line of scrimmage. When he did, his inability to get that extra yard and separate from defenders was hard to watch.
Another problem that hurt The Crow’s numbers was that head coach Hue Jackson did not execute an efficient running game accordingly. Then again, Crowell did not help the matter either. If he had, doing the little things better may have led to a larger workload.
The style of offense Cleveland runs benefits Hyde more than Crowell. Look back at how he was used at Ohio State and San Fran. Crowell is better suited in I-formation and other similar formations.
By joining Cleveland, assuming Hyde stays healthy, the following numbers provided by Evan Silva should see a boost:
With the RPOs (run-pass options), an athletic quarterback in Tyrod Taylor, and an improved wide receiver corp, both number categories are worth watch out for.
Combining thunder (Hyde) with the Browns’ lightning in Duke Johnson provides an improved RB duo. However, being that Johnson is best used in the passing game and that Hyde has an injury history, adding another running back would be wise.
Could second-year Matthew Dayes be that guy? Maybe but if he had any chance of showing what he could do, 2017 was it. Therefore, he is down on the list. Dayes should remain in a special teams role in 2018. Instead of Dayes, how about LSU’s Derrius Guice or Georgia’s Nick Chubb?
Adding another running back like Johnson does not make sense. If those rookies are not your cup of tea, there are others worth considering. If Cleveland were to move down from four, Guice could be in play.
However, Penn State’s Saquon Barkley would fit well at four too. Then again, if general manager John Dorsey prefers to fill a need knowing the depth at the position, I wouldn’t count on Barkley being the pick.
By the end of day two, another running back should, no, must be drafted. Other options are Oregon’s Royce Freeman, San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny, and USC’s Ronald Jones. It all depends on how Dorsey values those backs and the position in general.
Drafting one of those too will help with the wear and tear on Hyde. It can also open up more options with their flexibility using Johnson. Cleveland needs to continue to add to their offensive play-makers and this is another way to do that.