Cleveland Browns sign UDFA running back L.J. Scott
The Cleveland Browns have had a rather loud offseason, the 2019 NFL Draft included. In a quieter move than the Odell Beckham Jr. trade, or Greedy Williams falling to No. 46, the Browns have signed running back LJ Scott.
Throughout NFL circles, the consensus seems to be that the Cleveland Browns have “won the offseason.” With one of the biggest trade acquisitions of the past century in wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., a budding star quarterback in Baker Mayfield, and a mainly solid draft class highlighted by cornerback Greedy Williams, the Browns seem ready to contend for the first time in two decades.
But with such a furious whirlwind of signings in past months, it can be hard to break through a Browns fan’s newsfeed with smaller moves. On Monday morning, the Browns reached a deal with former Michigan State running back and undrafted free agent, L.J. Scott, who recorded 25 touchdowns in four seasons at MSU. Scott isn’t a blockbuster UDFA signing, but he deserves some recognition for what he can bring to the Dawg Pound.
The 6-1, 22-year old back was plagued with injuries near the back end of his time with the Spartans. An ankle injury kept him out of the Senior Bowl earlier this year, but with a full offseason to heal, he’ll almost certainly be ready for 2019 in Cleveland, barring any setbacks. When he’s on the field, Scott can be a nice change of pace back for Cleveland.
In his final year, Scott played in just five games, but his college tape from his first three seasons shows that he can be an explosive offensive threat. Rushing for 898 yards and eight touchdowns in 2017 and catching 20 balls out of the backfield, Scott shined as a versatile weapon in the Spartans backfield.
Although Scott would likely be the third option on a 53-man roster, the Browns might have another Nick Chubb on their hands here. That is to say, injuries are hiding a real rushing threat, and Cleveland may have gotten a bargain UDFA signing.
Even if Scott doesn’t pan out for Cleveland, the Browns never spent a draft pick on him, and could always move on relatively quickly.