The declining value of running backs is a trending storyline in the NFL. Thursday’s first round of the draft is expected to pass without a running back being selected.
So which team will be the first to bite on a back? It could be the Browns. Mary Kay Abbott of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer has tweeted the Browns have interest in taking running back Carlos Hyde of Ohio St. with the 35th pick overall.
Hyde going at No. 35 is higher than many mock drafts have him placed. However, the Browns are determined to upgrade their running game over last season. They signed former Texans back Ben Tate in free agency, but the depth behind Tate is uncertain.
No matter who the Browns start at quarterback, his job will be easier if he can rely on a consistent running game. That’s why the Browns may take a running back earlier than most teams. Which could be good news for Hyde, who could wind up starting his NFL career not far from where he played in college.