Three Cleveland Browns breakout candidates identified
Breakout candidate No. 2: Nick Chubb, Running Back
Next up in the NFL Mocks piece was running back Nick Chubb. Like David Njoku, he too had a good season in 2018 as he just missed being the first running back since Peyton Hillis to cross 1,000-yards on the ground for Cleveland.
Originally passing the mark in Week 17, Chubb lost some yardage at the end of the game and wound up at 996 yards and eight touchdowns on his rookie campaign. That was just a glimpse of what he can do according to Schmelzer, who says he’s a “legitimate franchise running back.”
"“While Kareem Hunt may make it interesting later in the year, Chubb enters the 2019 season knowing that he is the guy. Chubb was great last season but with a full load of carries available to him, the sky is the limit. He is a legitimate franchise running back who could quickly become one of the most productive players at the position in the NFL” — Schmelzer, NFL Mocks"
Another issue is brought up in the above quote, which is the arrival of Kareem Hunt. There was some controversy about the team signing him due to the video that showed him shoving and kicking a woman. Those feelings are legitimate, but the fact is the Browns plan to use Hunt — and considering his talent, he will be used often.
The good news for Chubb is that Hunt won’t be eligible for the first eight games as he serves a suspension. That will allow the second-year back plenty of time to assert his dominance as a runner. Should he do that, it won’t be easy for the 2017 NFL rushing leader to see the field.