In our second installment of the “Positional Preview” series we’ll be touching on arguably the most polarizing position in the sport. That’s right, the running back. Whether you love them or hate them, they still exist and they’re on the team. Let’s dive right in!
First up we have the man who looked like he may never play football again after his gruesome injury against Tennessee back in 2015. Nick Chubb, the former Georgia Bulldog standout, suffered a horrifying hyper-extension that cast serious doubt on his future. Chubb was able to bounce back and has been a very solid NFL running back. His rookie campaign was highlighted by nearly breaking the 1,000 yard rushing mark on a team with a ton of potential. His sophomore season was incredible, nearly rushing for 1,500 yards which lead him to his first Pro Bowl selection. Expect Chubb to be the feature back next season.
The next man up, Kareem Hunt, could also be seeing time at wideout but that’s another story. Hunt, a one time Pro Bowler and the 2017 NFL Rushing Leader, has shown that he’s an extremely effective runner and an even better pass catcher. If he can stay on the field for all sixteen games then this could end up being the deadliest tandem in the league.
I just really wanted to give Andy Janovich a shout out. We’ve never seen Janovich as an explosive runner but he’s been a solid receiver and a very good blocker. I wouldn’t expect anything crazy this season but you never know, he could surprise us.
We haven’t seen much from Dontrell Hilliard so far in his young career. That could change if we see Kareem Hunt make a transition to a slot receiver role. Hilliard was a productive back when he was at Tulane and Stefanski’s offense could create more opportunities for him to shine.
I want to spotlight a (probably) lesser known name outside of southern Florida, D’Ernest Johnson. The USF product was never really that “feature back” in college after playing behind current Colts RB Marlon Mack and former Tampa Bay Vipers QB Quinton Flowers. Johnson was a solid piece for the Bulls and could see some action on Sundays this season. Make sure to look out for him in the preseason.
Devonta Freeman: Freeman is currently planning on sitting out of the 2020 NFL season because he was unable to reach an agreement on his salary. I would be very surprised if Freeman were brought in the case that Chubb or Hunt go down.
Lamar Miller: The former Dolphins and Texans back has been relatively consistent throughout his career so far. He wouldn’t be a bad option for the Browns if they ended up being in the market for another running back.
LeSean McCoy: If McCoy still has tread on his tires then why not give him a shot? At this point in his career he could still be a very productive backup and even a low end starter.
Make sure to follow us on Twitter (@FPC_Browns and @NSwansonMedia) for more related content! Check back with us next week when we’ll dive into the wide receiver corps!