The last time the Cleveland Browns took a running back in the first round of the NFL Draft, they became the poster children for how such a move can backfire.
They traded up one spot in 2012, moving from fourth to third overall, and took Alabama back Trent Richardson. At the time, it seemed like a reasonable pick. Sure, trading up seemed unwise, but Richardson was seen by many as one of the best prospects available. For the most part, fans and media were on board.
Less than two seasons later, Richardson was gone. Cleveland traded him to the Indianapolis Colts, where he floundered until being released. He spent last year out of the league, and appears to be getting one last chance to save his career with the Baltimore Ravens.
So, yes, there are reasons why taking a running back high in the first round is a bad idea.
Come this Thursday, though, such a strategy won’t be.
With the No. 8 pick, Cleveland should take Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott.