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Breakdown of Northern Iowa RB David Johnson


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david-johnson-main.jpg

 

Size: 6'1" 224 lbs. Johnson is a large, well-built runner who is built like a linebacker. A little on the tall side, which is a negative for me, as it makes him run more upright. (4/5)

 

Athleticism: Johnson has elite ameasurables at the position. His web is unreal. He possesses good long speed and unrivaled explosion (his explosion drill numbers are in the 96th percentile for runningbacks). Every drill he ran was above average by a lot (aside from his shuttle run, which was a little below average). While his speed is good for a back his size, it's still not great. He's not a threat to get caught from behind (unless he's being chased by 4.3 guys), but I don't think he'll be breaking off many 80 yard runs. Stiff lower body reflected in below average shuttle run numbers. (7/10) 

 

Vision: Doesn't look like he posssesses exceptional vision. Seems to be below-average. Plays in a spread offensive system where he played light boxes and still didn't dominate. Routinely gets shutdown on inside runs. Lack of vision is very apparent when you watch him, and against weak competetion, that's not a good sign. (3/10)

 

3rd down ability (Pass-blocking and Receiving): Johnson is an elite pass-catcher. Not just runningback good, but has WR ability catching the ball. He runs a series of routes from the backfield and the slot. Has shown the ability to beat corners (albeit low level ones) with his route running, pluck the ball out of the air, and adjust to bad passes. Missed a few pass blocks, but he has all the size requirments. Problem just seems to be mental. (8/10 [5/5 for catching and 3/5 for blocking])

 

Balance: Inconsistent. Not much more to say. He never really had the opportunity to show off if he had any. (5/10)

 

Physicallity: Has a nice stiff-arm. When he's in the open field tacklers slide off of him. He often tries to finesses when he should be using that power to his advantage. Needs to lower his head and finish runs better. (6/10)

 

Improvisation: He has a good jump cut behind the line. Lacks elusiveness because of stiff-hips. Much better going through defenders than around them. Definetly not CJ Spiller. (4/10)

 

Ball Control: 1 fumble every 77.5 touches. Better than Cobb, but worse than Allen. (4/10)

 

GIFs: 

 

Adjusts to a poorly thrown ball: http://zippy.gfycat.com/SpecificDisguisedDorking.webm

 

Yards after catch: http://zippy.gfycat.com/ScarceWelloffHarvestmouse.webm

 

Plucks the ball out of the air: http://zippy.gfycat.com/SelfassuredJampackedGrayfox.webm

 

Lines up in the slot (top): http://zippy.gfycat.com/ShamelessHilariousChickadee.webm

 

Nice little jump cut: http://zippy.gfycat.com/InfiniteAjarFrigatebird.webm

 

Conclusion: 

 

Grade: 41 out of 75. Mid-4th rounder. 

 

Johnson is a realistic possibilty for a position switch. His vision as a runningback is questinable to say the least. His size, athleticism, and skillset lend himself more to a WR position. At the very least, Johnson is a great 3rd down back who can realisticly catch 60-70 passes in an offense that features RBs heavily in the pass game. I don't think he's starting RB potential. 

 

NFL Comparison: Joique Bell, DET

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He could probably be a HB or slot receiver. I see him more as an offensive weapon than being dominant at any one thing.

He's like the offense version of Shaq Thompson

Yeah no way he's a full time RB imo. His vision is so bad.

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David Johnson does seem tall for a RB at 6' 1'' He reminds me of Bears back Walter Payton not in ability just in size. I like smaller backs a la MJD like with a lower center of gravity that gets lost in a pileup. 

 

I like your idea about a position change though to a WR or TE even. He does have nice hands & good grabbing ability to pull the ball out of the air. 

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Yeah no way he's a full time RB imo. His vision is so bad.

You could give him 5 or so touches a game on a team with a creative OC, but he's certainly not a full time RB. He needs to be on someone's roster though because he WILL make plays for you, one way or another.

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I don't think I've ever seen a player quite like David Johnson. He's definitely unique. Even the comp doesn't do him justice. He's like a more athletic version of Trent Richardson. Also with much better catching ability. 

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The only measurables I care about are wingspan [Arm Length: 31¼"] & initial burst from the line of scrimmage [Vertical Jump: 41½]. These 2 factors for Mr. Johnson are impressive based off that web diagram. 

 

I still say 40 yard dash speeds are emphasized way too much at the Combine & college prodays. I understand that velocity creates separation naturally, but who can't look good in the pajama olympics right? 

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