The Cleveland Browns are excited about rookie running back Jerome Ford.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) April 30, 2022
The Browns traditionally draft players with a plan to develop their skills over the next couple of years with a few exceptions.
Ford is one of those exceptions; he could deliver in the short and long term.
Jerome Ford is coming at a value in rookie drafts. People look at the situation and cringe, but good chance he is the RB2 in 2023 behind an aging Nick Chubb.
— Shane P. Hallam (@ShanePHallam) May 8, 2022
Here is what he can bring to the Browns’ offense in 2022.
How can a rookie bring familiarity?
It is because at the University of Cincinnati, Ford was involved in plays that were very similar to those of the Browns.
He can plug in and play right away which gives the Browns more depth at a position that was banged up often last year between injuries and COVID-19.
Jerome Ford showing good patience, vision, and burst here against Houston. Kevin Stefanski uses this same G-Y Counter play with the #Browns in a similar formation as well. He does a great job allowing the pullers to get their blocks before accelerating.
— Matt Wilson (@CoachWilson66) May 8, 2022
Every running back has his own style.
Some are powerful (Chubb), aggressive (Hunt), and grind hard (Johnson) in their pursuit of yards.
Ford has been called a patient runner; he allows the blockers to do their work and lets the play unfold before he picks up speed.
Depth And Interchangeability
As mentioned before, Ford adds depth to the running backs room.
He also can play special teams which will obviously have a new look this season with the addition of Jakeem Grant.
#Browns scout Max Paulus said Demetric Felton will be in the running back room moving forward. Felton played mostly receiver as a rookie in 2021. Paulus said Jerome Ford will get work at kick returner
— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) April 30, 2022
Who Makes The 53 Man Roster?
All of this sounds great, but the fact is the Browns have to cut to 53 players before Week 1.
Five running backs may not be a viable option.
Felton can play wide receiver, running back, and special teams so he could be a bit more valuable when the roster is slimmed down.
Johnson did not sign his RFA tender so he could realistically be playing for a different team by Week 1.
In the meantime, Ford has to live up to the hype by performing well at rookie camp and this summer.