Browns expected to sign former OSU Buckeye running back Carlos Hyde

Doug Mendoza
March 15, 2018

Hyde's signing doesn't preclude the Browns from drafting a running back such as Saquon Barkley high, but it takes the pressure off of finding a starting back with one of their top picks.

Recent reports have suggested that Cleveland could be on the verge of adding another playmaker to their roster, as according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, free agent Carlos Hyde will be joining the team once free agency opens. He also added 59 receptions for 350 yards through the air and fumbled only once all season.

The Browns do have more needs to address in the draft though such as finding a franchise quarterback (as Taylor is just a stopgap), and also at cornerback, so they could pass up on Barkley to fill up those needs since they already have a good back in Hyde.

Hyde was healthy for a full 16-game schedule for the first time in 2017 leading to the most productive season of his career. They were reportedly interested in former Patriots running back Dion Lewis before he agreed to a four-year, $20 million deal with the Titans on Tuesday. The strong expectation is the Browns kick off the draft by selecting Sam Darnold out of USC.

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The biggest concern for the running back is whether he can stay healthy.

Hyde was set to enter his sophomore season at Ohio State when he posted the tweet. Hyde averaged at least 4 yards per carry in three of his four seasons and last season averaged 3.91. It feels like Hyde has been in the National Football League forever, but in reality he's fresh off playing his final season under his rookie contract and was a first-time free agent heading into the offseason.

He was drafted by the 49ers with the No. 57 pick in the second round, and third overall among running backs, behind Bishop Sankey and Jeremy Hill. He played 14, seven and 13 games from 2014 through 2016. McKinnon was with the Vikings when Pat Shurmur was the offensive coordinator in Minnesota.

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