Cleveland Browns: Top 5 running back targets in the 2018 NFL Draft

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: Running back Saquon Barkley
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: Running back Saquon Barkley /
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Time is likely running out for Isaiah Crowell with the Cleveland Browns. Duke Johnson is a good back, but Cleveland needs someone to pair with him. Perhaps their answer could come in the 2018 NFL Draft.

In 2017, the Cleveland Browns lacked offensive playmakers as a whole. Their offensive unit was somewhat serviceable at best — take week 10 at Detroit for instance — and a downright disaster at worst — like week 16 at Chicago.

Aside from quarterback, the lack of a running game was what doomed the Browns the most during their winless season. Despite Duke Johnson’s best efforts as a third-down back and slot receiver, the Browns running back situation was quite a mess last season.

Isaiah Crowell rushed for a disappointing 853 rushing yards in 2017, and that simply will not do. He appeared in (and started) all 16 games last season, and yet, he only produced two touchdowns on the year. The Browns run attack needs a shot in the arm.

Needless to say, the Browns need some form of help. While Cleveland might have an outside shot at signing Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, it is just that — an outside shot. It’s best not to count on Bell being in brown and orange next year as that’s a tough sell despite the cash that can be thrown his way.

Luckily, the 2018 NFL Draft is shaping up to be one of the deepest running back classes in years. With multiple backs up and down the board, and the Browns possessing 12 picks in the draft, Cleveland will have their pick come April 26th.

The Browns have plenty of draft options to get their running game back on its feet come the 2018 season. These are the top five.