NFL Draft: Duke Johnson a fit for Green Bay Packers?
Sep 27, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes running back Duke Johnson (8) is tackled by Duke Blue Devils safety Jeremy Cash (16) during the second half at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Plenty of Praise
Johnson is 5-9, 207 pounds. Despite his size, he has quickness and explosion that can make him a tough running back to bring down. He has received a lot of praise from scouts.
What makes Johnson so impressive is his versatility.
While he can line up in the backfield and carry the football, he can also be used as a receiver and a returner on special teams. His talent in all three areas will make him a valuable asset.
Walter Cherepinsky of WalterFootball.com ranks Johnson fourth among running backs in this year’s draft. He wrote:
"“Johnson is a speed back who can take any carry the distance. He is extremely fast and capable of ripping off yards in chunks. In 2013, Johnson totaled 920 yards with six scores (6.3 average) before missing the final five games after breaking his ankle against Florida State. Johnson was one of the best freshmen in college football in 2012. He led Miami on the ground and racked up a ton of all-purpose yardage. Johnson averaged 6.8 yards per carry while running for 947 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also caught 27 passes for 221 yards and another score. Johnson was phenomenal on special teams, too. He was second in the nation in kick returns with an average of 33 yards per return. The freshman standout also brought back two kicks for touchdowns.”"
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com wrote that Johnson was ‘one of the most explosive runners in college football during his time at Miami.’
He also added that ‘his explosive quickness and elusiveness should help him adapt quickly to NFL speed and his feel and courage as a one-cut runner should earn him instant playing time.’
Johnson has received a lot of praise and many believe he will have an instant impact in the NFL.
Which round will he be drafted?
That all depends on who you ask. He could go as early as the bottom of the first round or as late as the fourth round.
It’s hard to imagine him falling to the Packers’ third round selection; to take him, they may have to be willing to use the 60th-overall pick.
Though it seems a lot to use an early round selection on a running back, the Packers will be expected to gain compensatory picks due to the loss of James Jones and Evan Dietrich-Smith in free agency last year.
Next: What could he bring to the Packers?