4. Land Braelon Allen or Audric Estime on Day 2
Cleveland is hopeful Nick Chubb will return to form but it's going to be a tough ask for him. Chubb is already 28 which isn't young at all for a running back and had to go through two separate surgeries to repair both his MCL and ACL. This is also the second serious knee injury he's had after tearing three ligaments in his left knee — the same knee that was injured in 2023.
Chubb proved he wasn't a normal human when he returned to Georgia following his awful injury as a sophomore and dominated but then went on to star in the NFL. During his five years — and one and a half games in 2023 — Chubb has 6,511 yards and averages 5.3 yards per rush. Still, expecting him to bounce back and be the same player right away might be too much. Plus, the Browns already think he won't be ready in Week 1.
With him out, the ground game was decent but had far too many runs that resulted in a loss of yards. They also went A.W.O.L. down the stretch this year. That's why Andrew Berry should make sure to land someone who can carry the load if needed — while also being an excellent No. 2 should Chubb prove to be a superhero once again.
That doesn't mean they have to sign a high-priced free agent but they need to use a Day 2 selection on someone who can start. Two excellent options would be Braelon Allen from Wisconsin or Audric Estime from Notre Dame. Allen is a massive player at 6-2 and 240 pounds and had 3,494 yards and 35 touchdowns in three seasons.
Estime didn't get as many touches but had 1,341 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior. Listed at 6-1 and 215 pounds, he's not as powerful as Allen but had more yards after contact and is very evasive. Either could be the back of the future and would be an upgrade over Jerome Ford.