Why the Browns don’t need to draft a running back early

Multiple analysts have predicted that the Browns should take a running back in the draft. PFF signature stats shows why this is a bad idea.

| 2 months ago
(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Why the Browns don’t need to draft a running back early

  • Isaiah Crowell ranked fifth in the NFL last year in yards after contact per attempt with 3.2.
  • In a league that contains the likes of David Johnson and Devonta Freeman, Duke Johnson Jr. ranked fourth in total receiving yards per route run last season.
  • Cleveland’s offensive line surrendered 33 total sacks, the most in the league, to opposing defenses last year, and did not excel in the run game. Johnson and Crowell’s numbers behind that line are quite impressive. The team improved the line in free agency.
  • Isaiah Crowell ranked first in breakaway percentage in 2016 — the percentage of yards that come on runs of 15 yards or more.




Fantasy Slant: Cleveland bolstered their offensive line with the free agent signings of Kevin Zeitler and J.C. Tretter, giving the Browns one of the leagues’ better units on paper. Crowell and Johnson stand to benefit from these upgrades, and both are sneaky fantasy options to consider should Cleveland pass on adding a back in the draft. The PFF Fantasy projections currently have Crowell slotted in for RB2 numbers.

  • crosseyedlemon

    I don’t think signature stats are needed to realize the Browns should avoid a RB in the first round. They’ve gone down that road before and came away with Tommy Vardell, William Green and Trent Richardson (combined career TD total = 5).

    • Jaker

      Trent had 11 TD’s in just his rookie season. Green had 6. I understand where you are coming from, but your statistic is missing a digit

  • Latin 54

    Cleveland doesn’t need a running back drafted in the first 4 rounds. They bolstered their offensive line. This will help a lot. They need to make the def. such as to give them great field position through turnovers and / or 3 plays and out. Early in the draft, draft to strengthen the defense.