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The Browns' decision to ship Trent Richardson off to the Indianapolis Colts last season was a sign of the times.
You've heard the notion countless times before: Running backs in the National Football League have become "devalued."
Not devalued in the sense of what they can provide an offense with, but devalued in the sense that you can essentially find "plug-and-play" guys instead of having to spend first-round draft picks on them.
Richardson's fall from grace, followed by the team inking Ben Tate to a contract this offseason, puts a spotlight on that theory.
Even with Tate expected to handle the bulk of the work in 2014, the Browns offense could use another workhorse halfback in their backfield.
That's where a guy like UCF's Storm Johnson comes into play.
This year's class of running backs as a whole could probably be considered sleepers.
Because of the position losing steam in certain draft circles, the conversation this offseason has mainly been focused on quarterbacks, wide receivers and defensive players.
Johnson is a guy who Nick O'Malley of MassLive.com described as "a rare combination of talents."
At 6'0", 209 pounds, the UCF tailback boasts good size and adequate speed.
He's more of a punishing, between-the-tackles runner on film, who can wear a defense down with his aggressive style.
Not to be overlooked, Johnson is a fantastic pass-catcher coming out of the backfield.
Talking about that in further detail, B/R's Scott Carasik notes:
"On top of his rushing ability, the Central Florida back is one of the best receivers out of the backfield in this year’s class. He is good on screens, but he understands how to run other routes effectively as well and has great hands."
Even though Tate is slated to be the "guy" next year, Johnson is a young man who has all the tools needed to become a three-down player right away.