Duke Johnson to the Browns? Instead of drafting offensive need (like WR) the Browns go RB with Johnson. Not that Johnson wasn’t good value @ 3.13, but the pick further muddies an already murky situation at RB.
Most thought going into 2015 the Browns would use a RBBC approach with Crowell and West with the slight edge to Crowell. With the addition of Johnson I see a 1-2 punch of Crowell and Johnson similar to Cincinnati’s combo of Jeremy Hill and Giovanni Bernard; With Johnson playing the Bernard role.
Duke is extremely athletic, quick and agile, and is a natural receiver out of the backfield. He would have been a better fit on a team with a throw-first mentality, but he could still be a three down back for the Browns if called upon. I think he would be a better fit in a complimentary role like Bernard.
A few weaknesses with Johnson are that he is undersized and not a true power back (Crowell is 20 pounds heavier), has durability concerns, and needs to work on his pass blocking. That being said I still feel the addition of Johnson neutralizes any fantasy value West had remaining after the 2014 season.
My early fantasy prediction for Johnson is RB47 in standard leagues and RB38 in PPR leagues.