NFL free agency has been a busy time for the Cleveland Browns with close to 20 players being added or retained from the 2022 NFL season. GM Andrew Berry has addressed a vast majority of the team’s immediate needs with depth and an eye for the future the last two areas to focus on.
Berry could still add another veteran like DE Frank Clark but roster space is getting very scarce for the Browns at this point. As we discussed, having eight selections in the 2023 NFL draft doesn’t seem to fit where the team’s roster is at this point.
One area of depth need is at running back. While Nick Chubb and Jerome Ford are set to lead the way, Ford had just eight carries as a rookie and, if the season started today, John Kelly would be the team’s other running back.
While we don’t think the team will use their first selection on a back, as NFL Network’s recent mock draft did, they could be looking to add a youngster to their group.
One option late in this year’s draft, could be local Youngstown State RB Jaleel McLaughlin. Cleveland was reportedly at his pro day where the speedy, slighter framed back was impressive:
RB Jaleel McLaughlin (@Speedkills2k_) at Youngstown State’s Pro Day:— James Fragoza (@JamesFragoza) March 24, 2023
✅ 4.44 40-yard dash
✅ 17 bench reps (225 lbs)
✅ Weighed 192, listed at 183 last year
✅ Looked smooth in position drills
Cleveland #Browns were on-hand pic.twitter.com/Hfv1FkkxMU
McLaughlin looked even faster on the field than his 4.44 time says but some of that could be due to bulking up a little bit to 192 pounds. His bench performance gives hope for his ability as a pass protector on third downs where he could make a living as a pass catcher out of the backfield.
Obviously, the Browns may have just been doing their due diligence since YSU is so close but McLaughlin could be an interesting pickup for the team that needs some depth and diversity out of the backfield with D’Ernest Johnson gone and Kareem Hunt likely to be as well.