Connor Shaw was the Browns' best offensive player, which tells you about all you need to know about Cleveland's offense in a 24-23 loss to the Washington Redskins on Monday night. Another bright spot on the unit was Tate, who ran for 51 yards on 10 carries.
As NFL.com's Aditi Kinkhabwala pointed out, he was one of the few Browns players giving any support to starting quarterback Brian Hoyer:
Well, other than Ben Tate, Brian Hoyer's teammates don't give him much help on that first drive. Unblocked sack, false start, dropped pass— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) August 19, 2014
This is the second week in a row in which the four-year veteran has looked impressive. He had six carries for 25 yards against the Detroit Lions last week.
It's still a bit too early to label Tate a top-10 running back, but he's knocking on the door. Putting him in the top 15 isn't a stretch. According to ESPN.com, his average draft position of 43.0 makes him the 17th RB off the board.
That number should start improving very soon.
With the way that Hoyer and Johnny Manziel have looked so far, Browns head coach Mike Pettine might be relying heavily on his running backs. Josh Gordon's possible suspension also makes the passing game even more toxic.
If you're willing to take a gamble, you could slot Tate in as your starting running back; he's certainly worth taking as an RB2. He ran for 771 yards on 181 carries last year. As a starting running back, it's realistic to think he could crack 1,000.