The Browns are getting back a fifth-round draft pick from Jacksonville in exchange for Carlos Hyde, per source. The Browns want to get more playing time for rookie Nick Chubb.
There is big news and then there is this. Where to start?
First off, Hyde probably sticks as an RB2 as long as Leonard Fournette is out. T.J. Yeldon will handle pass work, do the change-of-pace thing and see some early-down work, but his current status as the 10th highest scoring back in 2018 is coming to an end. Until we see exactly how the carry split will work, consider both RB2s with Hyde being more touchdown dependent and Yeldon having a higher floor. For Week 7, Yeldon is still a safe RB2 as Hyde won't be close to up to speed.
What happens with Fournette is the big wild-card. On the surface, it seems like the Jags wouldn't have made this move if they had confidence Fournette would be back soon, if at all this year. At the same time, Yeldon is an impending free agent and Hyde only cost a 5th round pick. That's a fairly small price to pay for somebody like Hyde who could easily slide in for Yeldon should he be elsewhere in 2019. We'd be careful about reading too much into the move until we get some sort of update on Fournette's status.
From the Browns point of view, this instantly thrusts Nick Chubb into Hyde's role (they have already announced him as the starter). So far this season, that has meant 114 carries, good for third in the NFL, behind only Ezekial Elliot and Todd Gurley. Unfortunately for Hyde owners, all that volume only led to him being the 17th highest scorer among running backs. Pro Football Focus' grade for Hyde backs this up, as he is 53rd among the 55 qualifying players at the position. Chubb doesn't have enough carries to qualify, but his current grade of 91.3 would be the best mark in the NFL if he did. The sample size is small, so take that with a grain of salt, but it does hint at his upside. The Browns face the sieve-like Buccaneers run defense this week, vaulting Chubb all the way into RB1 consideration. Should things go well on Sunday, he could maintain that status in our rest-of-season rankings.
Duke Johnson may or may not benefit from this move. He's been the forgotten man this year with only 33 touches, but we could see Cleveland leaning on him a little more as they break their rookie into the offense on a full-time basis. For now, we'd recommend adding Johnson but not starting him until we know more.