Over at Pro Football Focus, they looked at every-down running backs in the NFL last season, including their utilization on 3rd-and-6 situations or longer. Coming in near the top of the list in snap utilization was RB Carlos Hyde, who had 755 snaps (71.4%), which was fourth behind Le’Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott, and Todd Gurley.
Despite not previously being a pass-catching back, Hyde was also used fairly regularly on the 49ers’ 3rd-and-6 situations. That is something that is bound to change drastically in Cleveland, though, especially with the team’s recent contract extension for RB Duke Johnson. It’s interesting because Todd Haley in Pittsburgh had the highest usage of a bell-cow back, and now he’s in Cleveland.
It actually seemed kind of surprising that Johnson was as high on the list as he was last year, considering Isaiah Crowell was the starter. But then we also know how often Crowell would have a decent first half, only to get one touch the entire second half. Rookie Nick Chubb is in the mix with Hyde and Johnson this year too, as Crowell will try to thrive with the New York Jets.
Here is what PFF said about Hyde’s utilization last year:
Hyde came into last season with 64 targets across three seasons in the NFL. In one year under Kyle Shanahan he totaled 88 (fifth-most at the position). Hyde also drew 240 carries, which ranked 11th-most. Despite the good volume, Hyde underwhelmed in efficiency, grading out 50th of 58 qualifying running backs. With Hyde now in Cleveland, competing for touches with Nick Chubb and Duke Johnson, his ADP has rightfully plummeted. Jerick McKinnon’s draft stock has gone in the opposite direction, however, after signing the fifth-most-lucrative running back contract in the NFL. He seems poised to be an every-down running back and fantasy stud for San Francisco in 2018.