The Browns signed Kareem Hunt earlier this offseason, and that's probably going to have some cool on Nick Chubb in fantasy drafts. Hunt's suspended for the first eight games, of course, but he's a talented guy who led the league in rushing in 2017, which gives the team a viable alternative come midseason should Chubb struggle or get hurt.
But I'm not terribly concerned about Chubb's future. mostly because I think he's really good. We had some doubts coming out of college, but he answered them very quickly. Despite being barely used the first quarter-plus of his rookie season, he went on to rush for 996 yards.
Among second-rounders to have made any impact at all over the last 25 years -- say, the 26 who rushed for at least 400 yards as rookies -- Chubb's 5.2 yards per carry was better than all but three of those players. Two went on to have excellent NFL careers. The third, like Chubb, comes off an excellent rookie season.
In the table below, 2018 rookies are in bold.
|2ND-ROUND RUNNING BACKS, 1994-PRESENT (400 YARDS)|
|2006||60||Maurice Jones-Drew, Jac.||166||941||5.7||16|
|2002||51||Clinton Portis, Den.||273||1508||5.5||17|
|2018||43||Kerryon Johnson, Det.||118||641||5.4||4|
|2018||35||Nick Chubb, Clev.||192||996||5.2||10|
|2014||55||Jeremy Hill, Cin.||222||1124||5.1||9|
|1997||43||Corey Dillon, Cin.||233||1129||4.8||10|
|2013||58||Montee Ball, Den.||120||559||4.7||4|
|2016||45||Derrick Henry, Tenn.||110||490||4.5||5|
|2001||38||Anthony Thomas, Chi.||278||1183||4.3||7|
|2008||55||Ray Rice, Balt.||107||454||4.2||0|
|2015||54||Ameer Abdullah, Det.||143||597||4.2||3|
|2004||43||Julius Jones, Dall.||197||819||4.2||7|
|2013||61||Eddie Lacy, G.B.||284||1178||4.1||11|
|2009||53||LeSean McCoy, Phil.||155||637||4.1||4|
|2013||37||Giovani Bernard, Cin.||170||695||4.1||8|
|2015||36||T.J. Yeldon, Jac.||182||740||4.1||3|
|2008||44||Matt Forte, Chi.||316||1238||3.9||12|
|1994||44||Mario Bates, N.O.||151||579||3.8||6|
|1997||36||Tiki Barber, NYG||136||511||3.8||4|
|2014||54||Bishop Sankey, Tenn.||152||569||3.7||2|
|1994||34||Errict Rhett, T.B.||284||1011||3.6||7|
|2013||48||LeVeon Bell, Pitt.||244||860||3.5||8|
|2011||62||Daniel Thomas, Mia.||165||581||3.5||1|
|2017||48||Joe Mixon, Cin.||178||626||3.5||4|
|2001||58||Travis Henry, Buff.||213||729||3.4||4|
|1999||39||James Johnson, Mia.||164||558||3.4||4|
Yards per carry isn't everything, although a lot of the guys at the bottom of this list washed out fairly quickly. LeVeon Bell, Travis Henry and it seems Joe Mixon turned out to be quality pros, but not so much Bishop Sankey and a trio of Florida backs.
Anyway. Cleveland was always going to bring in another running back; that's what teams do these days, and it makes sense the way these guys get hurt. But I'm comfortable with Chubb, both in 2019 and beyond. Good young player.