Coming into camp, rookie running back Demetric Felton's status was unclear. Many figured he would make the roster, but it became clear that he had to beat out fellow back D'Ernest Johnson.
It only took a few practices for coaches and teammates alike to praise Felton. He was one of the big surprises during training camp, and his play in preseason warranted the hype he received over the summer.
Felton was initially brought in as a running back, but his receiving skills have become apparent during the preseason. The staff has had him lineup up both in the backfield and as a slot receiver, and the bottom line is that he will contribute this year in some capacity.
Demetric spent his college days at UCLA, where he totaled 1,675 all-purpose yards in just three seasons of legitimate playing time. He led the Pac-12 in all-purpose yards for the 2020 season and was sixth in the nation with 168.5 total yards per game.
One of his biggest slights coming out of the draft was his measurables. Felton is a smaller back, listed at 5-10 and 200 lbs. during his collegiate career. That in itself is not a problem, but Felton's testing numbers were disappointing in the lead-up to the draft.
The Browns took a flyer on him in the sixth round, taking him at No. 211 overall. He had a strong workout with the team, which coaxed them into bringing him in.
This is just the latest example that testing numbers can be deceiving. While his forty-yard dash didn't impress scouts, Felton is very quick in-game. He has found the open field several times throughout the preseason and has looked just as fast as he did at UCLA.
Felton is a very sudden player that cuts the way that the Browns expect their running backs to. Once he finds an opening, Felton sticks his foot in the ground and turns upfield, reminiscent of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
The thing that jumps off the screen when watching Felton is how polished off a receiver he is. He clearly understands route concepts and has improved over his short NFL life.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski gave fans a small glimpse at what Felton's role could encompass in the regular season. The Browns built in plays where Felton could move laterally and beat defenders to the boundary before finding the edge.
The team expects to have a more efficient vertical passing game this season, but it is important to make defenses cover every area of the field. Felton gives the Browns this luxury and should be a part of the regular game plan moving forward.