Name: Duke Johnson
College: University of Miami
Unofficial 40-yard dash: 4.32
Projected Round in NFL Draft: 2
Johnson burst on to the scene as a freshman immediately making his presence felt. He was the best RB on the team and one of the best freshman in all of college football. He continued to show off his talent as a sophomore before breaking his ankle. He looks back to form and fully recovered this season. Johnson is an explosive back that is a threat to take it to the house every single time touches the ball. He is very versatile and can be utilized both on the ground, through the air and in the return game. Many are beginning to consider the fact that Johnson may possibly be the best RB in Miami history. That is quite the feat considering the fact that even in just recent memory, The U has pumped out all-time great RBs such as Edgerrin James, Clinton Portis, Willis McGahee and Frank Gore, just to name a few. Johnson is able to identify the hole and explode through it like very few RBs can. He has as high a ceiling as any RB we’ve seen in college since Reggie Bush. Durability will prove to be his biggest obstacle for Johnson. If he can stay healthy, he’s a sure fire star on the next level.
Let’s break down the strengths and weaknesses that NFL GM’s will be looking at when he decides to enter himself in to the draft.
Rushing: ATT:139 YDS:947 AVG:6.8 LNG:65 TD:10
Receiving: REC:27 YDS:221 AVG:8.2 LNG:51 TD:1
Kick Return: KR:28 YDS:892 LNG:95 TD:2
2013 Statistics (played 8 games before breaking his ankle)
Rushing: ATT:145 YDS:920 AVG:6.3 LNG:59 TD:6
Receiving: REC:4 YDS:77 AVG:19.3 LNG:38 TD:0
Kick Return: KR:14 YDS:396 LNG:95 TD:0
2014 Statistics (as of 10/22/14)
Rushing: ATT:110 YDS:787 AVG:7.2 LNG:80 TD:6
Receiving: REC:17 YDS:187 AVG:11.0 LNG:32 TD:0
– Big time play-maker
– Excellent speed
– Extremely Explosive
– Great second gear
– Well-balanced and versatile
– Hard nose runner with deceptive strength and power
– Fantastic vision with uncanny ability to find the hole
– Very quick with great ability to start, stop and change direction
– Natural pass-catcher out of the backfield
– A threat to score every time he touches the ball.
– Questions about his durability
– Needs to improve in pass protection
– Not a workhorse back
While Johnson is not a workhorse back, he will be an extremely dangerous weapon on the next level. He will likely be used in a similar fashion to how the Bengals utilize Giovani Bernard. Johnson is an excellent prospect and if this was a few years ago before RBs were devalued, he probably would have been a top 10 pick. It would not be a surprise to see him go as the top RB off the board in next year’s draft. He just has to remain health and continue his excellent production.
Draft Range: Second Round
NFL Player Comparison: Reggie Bush and Gio Bernard