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Scouting Profile: Duke Johnson, RB, Miami


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Got bored and figured I'd do another one today.

 

Previous Installments: 

 

Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise State

 

ZJAVWYQLCDBGCOA.20120924195953.jpg

 

Games watched: vs Nebraska, vs Virginia, vs Duke

 

The Good: 

 

Fantastic speed. He's a homerun threat. All he needs is one lane. Legit 4.3 guy. He has one speed - fast.

 

Slipper runner. Often making defenders pay for diving tackle attempts. 

 

Killer lateral agility. Ability to cut on a dime and make you miss in a phone-booth. Elusiveness off the charts. Deadly on the edges. Look at him put a clown suit on this Oklahoma DB:

    ex. http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=253749&gif=DefensiveAptCoelacanth

Bonus clip:

    ex. http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=253811&gif=BlindHilariousBlackfish

 

Pass catching skills are top-notch. So good that Miami would even line him up as a WR on some plays.

    ex. http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=253749&gif=DimEvilBobcat

 

Hell of an arm. Trick play potential? 

    ex. http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=252909&gif=PolishedPowerfulFurseal

 

Shown ability as a returner. Had a KR TD vs Virginia in the 1st quarter and another long return in the 4th. Showing great vision along with superb athleticism. 

 

Doesn't shy away from contact. 

 

Great vision for cutback lanes. 

     ex. http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=252909&gif=GoodDifferentBlueandgoldmackaw

     ex.http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=253811&gif=InsignificantImpressionableBarbet

 

Great vision period.

 

Surprisingly decent pass blocker for a back his size. Look at him loop back and re-direct this edge rusher.

     ex. http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=252909&gif=UnacceptablePowerlessAlligatorsnappingturtle

 

The Bad: 

 

Size is definitely a concern. 5'9 and around 190 lbs. Will he be able to take a beating at the NFL level?

 

Won't be a very powerful runner at the next stage. 

 

Going back his size, he gets destroyed sometimes by large linebackers. Often times looking like a grenade exploded in front of him (to borrow a metaphor from Superman).

 

The Ugly: 

 

Nothing really. Aside from his size, Johnson is a very good RB prospect who does everything well. Injury concerns are legit though. He got banged up a few times in college. 

 

Conclusion: 
 

Aside from size, Duke Johnson excels at almost everything you look for in a runningback. He'll never be a dominant down hill runner or goal-line back, but Johnson is an amazingly elusive, amazingly fast offensive weapon, who, if he was a little larger, might be getting 1st round buzz. With his size, he'll never be an every down player. He'll unfortunately have to be in a system that uses a multi-back system. He's a perfect fit for New Orleans and can fill the void left by Darren Sproles.

 

Position Rank: 4

Projected Round: 2nd

NFL Comparison: CJ Spiller, Buffalo/FA

 

Next up: TJ Yeldon, RB, Alabama

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Got bored and figured I'd do another one today.

 

Previous Installments: 

 

Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise State

 

ZJAVWYQLCDBGCOA.20120924195953.jpg

 

Games watched: vs Nebraska, vs Virginia, vs Duke

 

The Good: 

 

Fantastic speed. He's a homerun threat. All he needs is one lane. Legit 4.3 guy. He has one speed - fast.

 

Slipper runner. Often making defenders pay for diving tackle attempts. 

 

Killer lateral agility. Ability to cut on a dime and make you miss in a phone-booth. Elusiveness off the charts. Deadly on the edges. Look at him put a clown suit on this Oklahoma DB:

    ex. http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=253749&gif=DefensiveAptCoelacanth

Bonus clip:

    ex. http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=253811&gif=BlindHilariousBlackfish

 

Pass catching skills are top-notch. So good that Miami would even line him up as a WR on some plays.

    ex. http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=253749&gif=DimEvilBobcat

 

Hell of an arm. Trick play potential? 

    ex. http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=252909&gif=PolishedPowerfulFurseal

 

Shown ability as a returner. Had a KR TD vs Virginia in the 1st quarter and another long return in the 4th. Showing great vision along with superb athleticism. 

 

Doesn't shy away from contact. 

 

Great vision for cutback lanes. 

     ex. http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=252909&gif=GoodDifferentBlueandgoldmackaw

     ex.http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=253811&gif=InsignificantImpressionableBarbet

 

Great vision period.

 

Surprisingly decent pass blocker for a back his size. Look at him loop back and re-direct this edge rusher.

     ex. http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=252909&gif=UnacceptablePowerlessAlligatorsnappingturtle

 

The Bad: 

 

Size is definitely a concern. 5'9 and around 190 lbs. Will he be able to take a beating at the NFL level?

 

Won't be a very powerful runner at the next stage. 

 

Going back his size, he gets destroyed sometimes by large linebackers. Often times looking like a grenade exploded in front of him (to borrow a metaphor from Superman).

 

The Ugly: 

 

Nothing really. Aside from his size, Johnson is a very good RB prospect who does everything well. Injury concerns are legit though. He got banged up a few times in college. 

 

Conclusion: 

 

Aside from size, Duke Johnson excels at almost everything you look for in a runningback. He'll never be a dominant down hill runner or goal-line back, but Johnson is an amazingly elusive, amazingly fast offensive weapon, who, if he was a little larger, might be getting 1st round buzz. With his size, he'll never be an every down player. He'll unfortunately have to be in a system that uses a multi-back system. He's a perfect fit for New Orleans and can fill the void left by Darren Sproles.

 

Position Rank: 4

Projected Round: 2nd

NFL Comparison: CJ Spiller, Buffalo/FA

 

Next up: TJ Yeldon, RB, Alabama

 

Love Johnson....   the reports I'm seeing show him closer to 200 than 190.   His weight and time will be worth watching at the combine and Miami pro day.

 

Not sure he's big enough, or durable enough to be a #1 lead back....  but he can clearly be a #2.   If Giovanni Bernard can be a quality 2,  then so can Johnson and Abdullah....

 

2nd round talent...   but could slip to the 3rd depending on what happens with all other backs and whether or not that many teams want to take a RB in the 1st and 2nd round.     In short,  it's possible he or Abdullah, or Ajayi,  could slip to the 3rd due to no fault of their own....

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Love this guy for us in the 2nd.

 

Would love to see him as Luck's check down target, Boom showed just how effective it was in the playoffs and Duke would bring it to another level.

 

His size would definitely mean a few stuffs (we're used to that) but he has the home run potential to break one that we haven't really had since....?

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Love this guy for us in the 2nd.

 

Would love to see him as Luck's check down target, Boom showed just how effective it was in the playoffs and Duke would bring it to another level.

 

His size would definitely mean a few stuffs (we're used to that) but he has the home run potential to break one that we haven't really had since....?

With our poor o-line do we really want/need a player who could get squashed so easily? I think we should stick with a power back.

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With our poor o-line do we really want/need a player who could get squashed so easily? I think we should stick with a power back.

 

 

Alternatively do you want a guy who can't make people miss and will turn the -1 to 1 yard runs the line will give him in to 1-4 yard runs by falling forward, or do you want a guy who can make people miss with shiftiness and speed and turn them in to 10 yard runs 1/5 times. Plus he'll add a major threat in the check down game that we have seen could be a big weapon.

 

If Duke works out LB's won't be able to cover him and when safeties have to come down that's going to open up deep throws for TY and Moncrief.

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Got bored and figured I'd do another one today.

Previous Installments:

Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise State

ZJAVWYQLCDBGCOA.20120924195953.jpg

Games watched: vs Nebraska, vs Virginia, vs Duke

The Good:

Fantastic speed. He's a homerun threat. All he needs is one lane. Legit 4.3 guy. He has one speed - fast.

Slipper runner. Often making defenders pay for diving tackle attempts.

Killer lateral agility. Ability to cut on a dime and make you miss in a phone-booth. Elusiveness off the charts. Deadly on the edges. Look at him put a clown suit on this Oklahoma DB:

ex. http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=253749&gif=DefensiveAptCoelacanth

Bonus clip:

ex. http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=253811&gif=BlindHilariousBlackfish

Pass catching skills are top-notch. So good that Miami would even line him up as a WR on some plays.

ex. http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=253749&gif=DimEvilBobcat

Hell of an arm. Trick play potential?

ex. http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=252909&gif=PolishedPowerfulFurseal

Shown ability as a returner. Had a KR TD vs Virginia in the 1st quarter and another long return in the 4th. Showing great vision along with superb athleticism.

Doesn't shy away from contact.

Great vision for cutback lanes.

ex. http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=252909&gif=GoodDifferentBlueandgoldmackaw

ex.http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=253811&gif=InsignificantImpressionableBarbet

Great vision period.

Surprisingly decent pass blocker for a back his size. Look at him loop back and re-direct this edge rusher.

ex. http://www.draftbreakdown.com/gif-embed/?clip=252909&gif=UnacceptablePowerlessAlligatorsnappingturtle

The Bad:

Size is definitely a concern. 5'9 and around 190 lbs. Will he be able to take a beating at the NFL level?

Won't be a very powerful runner at the next stage.

Going back his size, he gets destroyed sometimes by large linebackers. Often times looking like a grenade exploded in front of him (to borrow a metaphor from Superman).

The Ugly:

Nothing really. Aside from his size, Johnson is a very good RB prospect who does everything well. Injury concerns are legit though. He got banged up a few times in college.

Conclusion:

Aside from size, Duke Johnson excels at almost everything you look for in a runningback. He'll never be a dominant down hill runner or goal-line back, but Johnson is an amazingly elusive, amazingly fast offensive weapon, who, if he was a little larger, might be getting 1st round buzz. With his size, he'll never be an every down player. He'll unfortunately have to be in a system that uses a multi-back system. He's a perfect fit for New Orleans and can fill the void left by Darren Sproles.

Position Rank: 4

Projected Round: 2nd

NFL Comparison: CJ Spiller, Buffalo/FA

Next up: TJ Yeldon, RB, Alabama

what do you think of ameer abdullah? I would love the colts to get him!
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I like him a lot. Saw him live as a senior in high school at a Nike all-star camp and knew he'd be good. That said, the Colts don't have the luxury of picking an RB that high when he won't be a 200 carry guy.

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I've watched this kid for 3 years at TheU and in high school at Norland. This dude is a legit beast. He's my 3rd best back behind Gurley and Gordon. Duke is crazy good in the return game also. If it wasn't for his heavy load in the backfield taking on 20+ Touches a game including catches, he would've been on the KR/PR.

His lateral quickness is more in line with Shady McCoy. He is quickness is that Elite. And his acceleration/burst is like Darren Sproles.

Like OP said, his only downfall is his size and sometimes gets overpowered by bigger LB's/DB's.

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Can he bulk up 10-15 more pounds?

Nah. He would lose all his quickness and long speed. He came in to UM near 180's and bulked up to a solid 202-205 his final season. I'd say the latter is his best playing weight because he not only broke many tackles, but also broke a bunch of long runs.

Check out this clip. His longest run this past season at 24secs in the clip.

http://youtu.be/RncLNuLMl8U

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We run a multi-back system here so I don't know why he wouldn't be a good fit for the Colts.

You can pair him with a bigger veteran back like Spiller or someone else and it should work

out great.

Him and spiller are the same type of back. Now if we got Gordon and spiller that would be a nice package. Because Gordon is bigger with elite speed and has carried the load 25+ at Wisconsin.

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Him and spiller are the same type of back. Now if we got Gordon and spiller that would be a nice package. Because Gordon is bigger with elite speed and has carried the load 25+ at Wisconsin.

 

 

Gordon has good numbers, but I keep getting this fear that he's similar to Trent Richardson.  He just looks like him to me!

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I'm a fan. Kid's a stud and the only concern I have is his size. I think he's fast enough and laterally quick enough to make up for the lack of size. He turns those typical -1 yd runs into 10-15 and is a weapon as a pass catcher out of the backfield and in the slot.

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Gordon has good numbers, but I keep getting this fear that he's similar to Trent Richardson. He just looks like him to me!

He's much fastevision is a much more decisive runner. Besides the hair, I don't see the comparison.
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Gordon has good numbers, but I keep getting this fear that he's similar to Trent Richardson. He just looks like him to me!

Hahaha. TrentPhobia lmaooo. He's a real decisive one cut and gone like the wind type back. Running style similar Arian Foster with the patience but much faster and explosive.

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  • 2 months later...

Thurman Thomas?

 

Not only Thurman Thomas, but backs like Barry Sanders.  Also when Marshall Faulk came out of San Diego State he was only 205 and about 5'10".  Currently as of the combine Duke Johnson is 5'9" 207 and he recently ran a 4.4 at his Pro Day so I will certainly give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to being able to carry the load.

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Not only Thurman Thomas, but backs like Barry Sanders.  Also when Marshall Faulk came out of San Diego State he was only 205 and about 5'10".  Currently as of the combine Duke Johnson is 5'9" 207 and he recently ran a 4.4 at his Pro Day so I will certainly give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to being able to carry the load.

I'm assuming you're only comparing him in stature to Barry Sanders....Because very few backs in the history of football can be compared to Sanders.

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With our poor o-line do we really want/need a player who could get squashed so easily? I think we should stick with a power back.

The best backs in our system have been quick decision makers not power backs; Donald Brown in 2013, Herron in 2014, and Bradshaw when healthy. None of them would be categorized as power backs and DB and Herron are similar to Duke, as far as being home run hitters who won't break a ton of tackles, though much less talented.

Power O =/= Power RB

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The best backs in our system have been quick decision makers not power backs; Donald Brown in 2013, Herron in 2014, and Bradshaw when healthy. None of them would be categorized as power backs and DB and Herron are similar to Duke, as far as being home run hitters who won't break a ton of tackles, though much less talented.

Power O =/= Power RB

 

I think we need a guy who can really threaten the edge and make plays as a receiver anyways. Duke Johnson running an angle route out of the backfield would be a nightmare for most defenses.

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I think we need a guy who can really threaten the edge and make plays as a receiver anyways. Duke Johnson running an angle route out of the backfield would be a nightmare for most defenses.

Agreed, I've been a huge fan of Duke's for awhile. He's going to be an electrifying pro. I would not be surprised if he's the 3rd or even 2nd back off the board.

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