Browns 2022 Day 3 studs and duds
In 2022, the Browns drafted Perrion Winfrey (Round 4), Cade York (Round 4), Jerome Ford (Round 5), Michael Woods II (Round 6), Isaiah Thomas (Round 7), and Dawson Deaton (Round 7).
There was only one stud here and that is Jerome Ford, who finished third in NFL kickoff return yardage with 723 yards. However, even he really impressed with potential more than real achievement. As a running back he gained a grand total of 12 yards from scrimmage. But keep on feeding those offensive linemen steak and potatoes and teaching them jiu-jitsu techniques to use on the line of scrimmage, and Ford is going to be okay if he ever gets a chance.
We like the idea of giving carries to running backs early in the game in order to set up Nick Chubb to dominate in the fourth quarter, where he has a 6.09-lifetime yards per carry average. All this talk about the Browns not being able to come from behind is such nonsense when you have a proven weapon like that.
Look, there’s no team that routinely comes back from huge deficits. But if the Browns manage their timeouts, and if their guy Chubb is well-rested and gains over six yards per carry, he’s a real weapon in the fourth quarter. He will for sure push people around late in the game and score points in the freaking fourth quarter.
Just don’t get behind by 17 points (good advice for any team, not just running teams). So give Ford some carries like Hunt used to get before the Browns figured it was better to just punch with one hand rather than two. Come on. One-two punch, guys.
Some fans think Cleveland got a draft-day steal by drafting Cade York, but this hasn’t been proven yet. In baseball terms, York was like a AAA ballplayer who was wearing a big league uniform last season, kind of like Nuke LaLoosh from Bull Durham.
Great promise, but not so great at kicking field goals. That’s okay if you’re rebuilding, but not okay if you’re really trying to win now. The Browns could have kept Chase McLaughlin to do the kicking and could probably have dealt that fourth-round pick for a future third round pick or some other future asset. The numbers say McLaughlin had better numbers in 2022 than York. York was not an upgrade as a rookie.
Understand, York will get better, it’s just that he wasn’t such a stud in 2022. Let’s look forward to 2023 while acknowledging that the rookie played like a rookie in 2022.
Could the Browns have replaced Michael Woods II and his 45 receiving yards with a free agent or waiver wire acquisition?
Winfrey and Thomas played significant snaps but were graded poorly by Pro Football Focus. It’s hard to regard their rookie seasons as assets to the team.