In his first season with the Cleveland Browns, Kareem Hunt had nearly as many catches as he did carries. In his second season, the veteran running back just might catch even more. As The Chronicle-Telegram's Scott Petrak reported Wednesday, new Browns assistant Chad O'Shea has talked up Hunt as a pass catcher this offseason, and not only that, but he's had Hunt cross-train with the team's wide receivers during Cleveland's virtual program.
"There has been a lot of interaction among us, a lot of crossover, that has been really helpful," said O'Shea, the team's WRs coach and passing game coordinator. As Orange & Brown Report noted, O'Shea apparently also included Hunt in the discussion for the Browns' No. 3 WR job, saying the competition is "constantly evolving" and won't be narrowed down until the team hits the field.
The development isn't entirely surprising for two reasons: Firstly, Hunt has been a productive pass catcher out of the backfield since entering the league; and secondly, the Browns' WR depth chart does lack clarity beyond starters Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, with only Rashard Higgins and former Tennessee Titans veteran Taywan Taylor among reserves with meaningful NFL experience.
Signed by the Browns in 2019 after two years with the Kansas City Chiefs, Hunt posted career-low marks in rushing and receiving thanks to an eight-game suspension to start the year, but he figures to be more involved as Nick Chubb's top backup in 2020. A 1,300-yard rusher as a rookie, the former Pro Bowler caught 37 passes in his Browns debut and scored his lone touchdown of the season through the air. He's averaged nearly 10 yards per catch for his career, with a career-best 53 receptions for 455 yards in 2017.