Latest ESPN mock has the Browns targeting the first running back in the class

This would have made more sense before signing D'Onta Foreman

Trey Benson
Trey Benson / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Mock draft season is going into full effect with the real thing less than a month away. Even without a first-round pick, there are still plenty of mocks out there predicting who the Cleveland Browns will land with their first pick — which comes at No. 54 overall.

Field Yates of ESPN just released a two-round mock on ESPN Insider and has the Browns making an interesting choice. Yates goes with Trey Benson from Florida State, the first running back he has come off the board.

He believes Cleveland can benefit from Benson's speed and ability to break tackles, saying he would be an upgrade over Jerome Ford as Nick Chubb rehabs his knee injury.

“Our first running back! Benson would have a chance for a massive role from jump street in Cleveland, as Nick Chubb’s availability is unclear (leg injury) for the start of the 2024 regular season, and Jerome Ford was solid but not spectacular filling in. Benson has excellent speed (4.39), is a forced missed tackle waiting to happen and shows very good pass-game traits.”

Ford did struggle at times in 2023 and was a major issue down the stretch in the running game — although he continued to provide a spark as a receiver out of the backfield. Despite this, the selection makes little sense.

Browns targeting RB doesn't feel likely with D'Onta Foreman

Benson is a talented back and will surely do a good job for whoever lands him. However, the Browns already signed D'Onta Foreman and Nyheim Hines. Foreman has been good when given the opportunity and is expected to carry the load until Chubb returns.

Hines is expected to return kicks but can also serve as a change of pace back. With that being the case, Cleveland is likely to look for more depth on the offensive line, or maybe another playmaking wideout, with their top pick.

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