6 Cleveland Browns benchwarmers who may emerge in 2023

Browns, Thomas Graham Jr.
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Browns, Jerome Ford. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

4. Jerome Ford, RB

You already know about Jerome Ford because of his outstanding work as a kick returner (723 kick return yards in 13 games). As a rookie, however, he did very little as a running back, gaining only 12 rushing yards on the season, but nobody believes that’s indicative of his potential.

Nick Chubb cannot assume the entire load of the running game himself, so if Ford can demonstrate that he is a threat as a change-of-pace back, he should be able to earn some playing time and earn some additional carries.

Kareem Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson are unrestricted free agents and are unlikely to come back. This means the door is wide open for Ford.

Because Deshaun Watson likes to run the quarterback option, the Browns would like to have a running back who catches the ball. In college, however, Ford was predominantly used as a runner, averaging 6.3 yards per carry in his University of Cincinnati Bearcat career but only averaged 14.5 catches per season, with a career season high of only 21.

Demetric Felton looked like he might have been that guy for Watson, but he fell into disfavor in his sophomore campaign, perhaps because he put the ball on the carpet a few times too often. The coaching staff seems to want to cut him.