NFL Nation: Ryan Miller

Running back Montario Hardesty reportedly was going to miss two to three games after having his knee scoped. The prognosis proved to be worse than expected.

The Cleveland Browns placed Hardesty on injured reserve, ending his season. With Dion Lewis going on IR on Monday, the top two backups to Trent Richardson are done for the season. Brandon Jackson and Miguel Maysonet are now listed as the reserve running backs on the team's depth chart.

Injuries have derailed Hardesty's career. He has injured the ACL in both of his knees, torn a calf muscle and dealt with a pulled hamstring. In 2010, the Browns traded two fifth-round picks to move up to select Hardesty in the second round.

To get down to the league limit of 75 players, the Browns waived seven players, including two recent draft picks: fullback Owen Marecic (2011 fourth-round) and offensive lineman Ryan Miller (2012 fifth round). Marecic had been replaced by Chris Ogbonnaya as the starting fullback.

Others waived were: linebacker Kendrick Adams, offensive lineman Dominic Alford, wide receiver Dominique Croom, defensive lineman Nicolas Jean-Baptiste and tight end Travis Tannahill. The Browns also placed offensive lineman Chris Faulk on the reserve-Non-Football Injury list.

Cleveland was awarded two players on waivers: outside linebacker Paul Hazel (Jacksonville) and punter Colton Schmidt (San Francisco).
Let's take a quick look at what the division teams did in the fourth and fifth rounds:

BENGALS: Cincinnati should play a lot more two tight end formations with the addition of Georgia's Orson Charles (fourth round). He can get open in the passing game and help out the running game with aggressive blocking. ... Iowa CB Shaun Prater (fifth round) is a strong worker who lacks ideal height (5 feet 10). He projects to be a nickel back down the road. ...California's Marvin Jones (fifth round) is the second wide receiver taken by Cincinnati (Rutger's Mohamed Sanu was the other). He isn't technically sound but he was impressive at the Senior Bowl. ... Boise State FS George Iloka (fifth round) has a lot of range in pass coverage but he is an inconsistent tackler.

BROWNS: Cleveland addressed the need for speed at receiver with Miami's Travis Benjamin (fourth round). His other contribution could come as a returner. ... Nevada's James-Michael Johnson (fourth round) is listed as an inside linebacker but he could be the eventual replacement for outside linebacker Scott Fujita. ... Colorado's Ryan Miller (fifth round) is a mauling lineman who is extremely tall (6 feet 7) for a guard. He projects to be a right guard.

RAVENS: The Ravens found their potential center of the future in Delaware's Gino Gradkowski (fourth round). He could also compete for the job at left guard, where Jah Reid is currently penciled in as the starter. ... South Carolina State FS Christian Thompson (fourth round) adds depth at safety, where the Ravens lost Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura in free agency. ... Cal Poly CB Asa Jackson (fifth round) shows great burst as a punt returner but he is a raw cornerback prospect.

STEELERS: Pittsburgh's strong draft continued when the team selected nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu from Washington (fourth round). He could be pressed to start right away with Casey Hampton (ACL surgery in January) isn't ready at the start of the season. ... Florida RB Chris Rainey (fifth round) is an undersized explosive playmaker. He lasted this long because of character concerns.




Sunday, 2/2