Originally posted on The Football Fan Spot  |  Last updated 5/20/12

Montario Hardesty was once a promising 2nd round pick of the Cleveland Browns. However, he got hurt as a rookie in 2010 and missed the entire season, losing his job to Peyton Hillis in the process. Then in 2011, when Hillis was hurt, he struggled to establish himself as the lead back, averaging just 3.0 YPC on 88 carries and suffering through injuries of his own.

With Peyton Hillis signing in Kansas City this offseason, the Browns showed no confidence in giving Hardesty the lead back job, trading up to use the 3rd overall pick on Trent Richardson to be their lead back. When that happened, it looked like Hardesty would be destined to just be a scarcely used backup this season, but now that might not even be the case. According to ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi, it’s Brandon Jackson, not Hardesty, who will be #2 on Cleveland’s depth chart behind Richardson likely because he’s a more refined pass catcher and pass protector.

Grossi also reportedly earlier this offseason that Hardesty’s roster spot could even be in danger because the Browns like what Brandon Jackson and Chris Ogbonnaya can do on 3rd down and special teams. If he’s not healthy, I could definitely see that happening for Hardesty. Either way, it’s become very clear very quickly that Hardesty is as big of a bust as a 2nd round pick can be.

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