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.