In: Carlos Hyde
Out: Isaiah Crowell
Carlos Hyde and the man he is replacing, Isaiah Crowell, have a lot in common.
Both entered the NFL in 2014, Hyde as a second-round draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers, Crowell as an undrafted free agent with the Browns.
Neither back has rushed for 1,000 yards in a single season, but they are close in career yardage, with Crowell (3,118 yards) holding a slight edge (2,729).
Both have 21 career rushing touchdowns and have averaged 4.2 yards per carry.
It is possible, however, that Hyde may turn into the better back for the Browns as his numbers supposedly suffered last season as he was a poor fit for head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offensive system with the 49ers. With the Browns, Hyde will be running behind a better offensive line and will not have to be eluding tacklers in the backfield.
The fact that he is not very good in the passing game will actually work out for the Browns as well, as it will force offensive coordinator Todd Haley to keep running back Duke Johnson heavily engaged in the passing game, which is the very definition of a good thing.
Hyde and Johnson have the potential to be a very product combo in the backfield this fall, given that Hyde is basically a two-down back and Johnson, while no slouch running the ball, is at his best in the passing game.
Verdict: A wash, for now, but with a high likelihood of improvement on the horizon