2015 NFL Draft: Browns select RB Duke Johnson with No. 77 pick
By Paul Noel
The Cleveland Browns have selected Miami running back Duke Johnson with the No. 77 overall pick in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
The 5-foot-9, 207-pound Johnson is an explosive play-maker that will add some depth and change of pace to the one-two punch of both West and Crowell.
According to his draft profile at NFL.com, “(Johnson’s) Explosive burst and plays with suddenness. Elusive in tight quarters. Has lightning in his feet. Has hips and feet to stop and start without stalling. Rare ability on stretch plays to hit cutback lanes that other backs can’t get to. Runs with patience and a well-timed burst. Has great feel as zone-scheme, one-cut runner. Changes direction without breaking stride. Courageous runner. Shows no fear when getting downhill. Strong-willed competitor with toughness. Has second gear around the corner and can erase the angles. Gets small(er) through the hole and runs behind pads. Fights through arm tackles. Regroups and balances himself after initial contact. Reads and sets up routes and adjusts to poorly thrown balls..”
Just wait there’s more.
According to CBSSports.com, Johnson “Alternately displays burst, agility and light feet to high-step through tackles and an effective stiff-arm. Patient runner willing to stretch plays and then hit the hole hard. Shows the “greasy knees” to cut and accelerate in one fluid motion, eluding would-be tacklers. Despite small stature, fights hard for every yard and shows a highly competitive nature.”
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Johnson finished his four-year career with the Hurricanes as the school’s all-time leading rusher. He earned first-team All-ACC honors in that campaign. Johnson has good burst and is an agile runner who is elusive in tight space. He makes himself small when surrounded, which helps enhance his durability. In addition, he runs patiently and waits for plays to develop. That makes him a prime candidate to excel in zone blocking schemes at the next level, which the Browns are likely to continue to run in the 2015 NFL season. Johnson ran a 4.54 40-yard dash at the Combine and had a 33.5-inch vertical. At Miami’s pro day, he improved his 40 time and posted a 4.47.
The Browns will be back on the clock with their fourth round pick at No. 111.
What do you think of the selection of Duke Johnson?