7 Running Backs the Browns Can Draft as Nick Chubb Insurance

Dec 17, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb (24) warms up before
Dec 17, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb (24) warms up before / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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While recent reports on Nick Chubb's injury recovery have been positive, the Cleveland Browns can't just bury their heads in the sand and hope for the best.

It was clear last season that Jerome Ford can't singlehandedly carry this backfield the way Chubb did, and there's no guarantee that we get him back at full speed next year. Moreover, Chubb's also on the last year of his contract, and his long-term future in Cleveland is far from guaranteed.

That means the Browns should be looking for some backfield help. They could bring in a veteran free agent, but we've seen time and again that free agents at the position rarely end up being worth their contracts.

Of course, only holding the No. 54 and No. 85 pick within the first four rounds of the draft, Cleveland also can't use a high pick on a top prospect.

These seven running backs could be available in Round 5 or later and would be perfect insurance plans for Chubb in Cleveland.

1. Jase McClellan, Alabama

Gone are the days of Alabama boasting a constant string of elite running back talent like Mark Ingram, Derrick Henry and Josh Jacobs. But that doesn't mean we should be overlooking the latest Nick Saban RB1 heading into the NFL.

If you just want to look at his stat-sheet, you'll probably laugh me off on the McClellan suggestion. His 890 rushing yards in 2023 ranked No. 58 in the nation, and he only averaged 4.9 yards per carry. But those numbers don't tell the whole story at all.

McClellan runs with a whole lot of purpose, with the exact kind of emphasis on explosive physicality that Chubb brings to the table. He seems to actively enjoy contact, and you're not often going to see him pushed backwards even when he's hit at the line of scrimmage.

That doesn't mean he's a plodder, either. He doesn't have overly impressive breakaway speed in the open field, but he's absolutely quick enough in short bursts to be able to consistently churn out solid gains and moderate chunk plays.

McClellan feels like a guy who can stand up to a huge workload at the NFL level, absorbing plenty of punishment without slowing down, and that makes him an intriguing option if the Browns' offensive identity is going to continue in the direction we've seen with Chubb.