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Cleveland Browns Training Camp 2013: RB Preview (Who is the 3rd-Down Back?)

New Browns RB Dion Lewis was acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles.
New Browns RB Dion Lewis was acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles.

In part one of our training camp preview on running backs for the Cleveland Browns, we went over Trent Richardson, Montario Hardesty, and Brandon Jackson. Today, we spill over to the other three running backs on the roster.


8276_mediumChris Ogbonnaya (#25)

6-0 | Weight: 225
Age: 27 | Experience: 4 years
College: Texas

Note: Solid all-around player, but may have hard time standing out...should compete for third-down role.

After having a productive season statistically in 2011, I think some people would be surprised to hear just how little Chris Ogbonnaya carried the ball last season: he had 8 carries for 30 yards. He did see a lot of action at receiver, though, where he had 25 receptions for 187 yards. Most of those catches came on third downs and screen passes.

Ogbonnaya fell out of favor when it came to playing time after the Browns' bye week last year. He was a free agent this offseason, but the new coaching staff decided to bring him back on a two-year deal.

We pretty much know what Ogbonnaya has to offer -- he is a decent third-down back, but not necessarily a game-changer. He also made a couple of mistakes as a receiver last year, from lining up wrong to dropping a couple of passes, which was a surprise. With three people trying to be the Browns' third-down back this year, Ogbonnaya will have to really stand out in training camp to find a spot on the roster. Some fans have thrown the possibility of him being a fullback out there, but how would I really address that? I mean, we could technically make anyone a fullback, so why Ogbonnaya?

Final Roster Odds: 50%


8276_mediumDion Lewis (#28)

5-8 | Weight: 195
Age: 22 | Experience: 3 years
College: Pittsburgh

Note: Acquired from the Eagles via a trade in offseason...small size, but nice and shifty.

Could Dion Lewis be the big surprise of training camp?

The Browns acquired Lewis in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles for linebacker Emmanuel Acho. While Acho might be a throwaway player for the Eagles, Lewis has the potential to skyrocket up the Browns' depth chart.

A former 5th-round pick, Lewis is still incredibly young (22 years old) despite entering his third season. He has taken advantage of limited reps over the past two seasons: in 2011, he averaged 4.4 yards per carry on 23 attempts, and in 2012, he averaged 5.3 yards per carry on 13 attempts. Yes, the sample size isn't large, but he made some things happen.

The story in Philadelphia with Lewis is this: Bryce Brown had some great games last year, and Chris Polk is on the roster too. An early report claimed that Lewis was deemed too small for Chip Kelly's system. Think of it this way: Frostee Rucker wasn't a bad player for the Browns, but the new regime parted ways with him because he didn't fit what they wanted to do either. Either Lewis turns out to be lightning in a bottle, or we can just cut him since he has no guaranteed money left. I'm putting his roster odds slightly higher than the other two backs: if we keep four guys, I think he'll definitely be one of them.

Final Roster Odds: 70%


8276_mediumMiguel Maysonet (#35)

5-10 | Weight: 210
Age: 23 | Experience: Rookie
College: Stony Brook

Note: Put up ridiculous numbers at a lesser-known school...was a high undrafted free agent prospect.

The Browns have been through a couple of undrafted free agent running backs this offseason. While Jamaine Cooke and Robbie Rouse are now gone, Miguel Maysonet was the last man standing among that group. Funny enough, the Browns also got Maysonet from the Eagles by claiming him off waivers.

As a senior, Maysonet tore it up at Stony Brook, rushing for 1,964 yards and 21 touchdowns. He was not asked to be a receiver very often in college, so it's tough to say what his skills are in that department. For what it's worth, Maysonet was considered a hot prospect among undrafted free agents this year, and it was a surprise when the Eagles released him without even seeing what he could do in OTAs. His scouting report from is here, and here's what rufio thought of him:

Looks like he is more of a downhill runner than Rouse, but he’s not huge and he doesn’t look that fast. They run a mix of zone runs and power/counter with a healthy chunk of iso and sweep/pin and pull plays, so basically every run he’d need to run in a pro system. He looks to be much better at the power/counter stuff than the zone stuff, which is a good fit for us.

Final Roster Odds: 5%
Practice Squad Odds: 40%

Next, we will take a look at what little there is at the fullback position. In the mean time, vote in our poll below on who you think should be the Browns' third-down running back in 2013?