Runs hard as a straight-ahead runner that can be a bruiser when he can get downhill. Effective in short-yardage and goalline situations. Runs low to the ground and will get his pads low to deliver blow to a linebacker or defensive back. Fights for extra yards and can push the pile with decent leg drive. Shows some patience as a runner, letting blocks develop and find daylight with decent vision. Occasionally will side-step a defender in the hole, and runs with decent balance for a player his size. Shows ability to square up an end or linebacker on the edge as a lead blocker. Also can be an effective cut blocker in space. Will step up and chip a defender in pass protection.
A very straight-line runner that lacks balance and ability to bounce plays when he does locate daylight. Doesn't play with the same power as a lead blocker as he does as a runner. Lacks pop and slows down upon initial contact at the point of attack as a blocker. Will duck his head and whiff on blocks. Doesn't really know how to use his hands to get position and doesn't drive his feet to maintain his block. Has poor vision as a blocker and they rarely run behind him between the tackles. Can't locate targets or assignments between the tackles. Very straight-line as a blocker and struggles to adjust in space to moving targets. Has very limited experience in the passing game.
Johnson has served as Texas power back, short-yardage and goalline runner. He's effective in that role. But the opportunities he gets as a lead blocker he is very raw. And while his size and power makes him have upside there, he just doesn't really have the instincts or natural feel for the position to think he'll contribute there early on. He's a guy that will likely have to quickly make an impact on special teams to stick in the pros because of his limited upside as a runner or fullback.
2011 GAMES WATCHED:
(9/10) vs. BYU: 5 att., 12 yds, 2.4 avg, 0 YAC, 2 TDs; Lead Block: 2/4
(10/8) vs. Oklahoma: 1 att., 3 yds, 3.0 avg, 3 YAC, 0 TDs; 1 key block, Lead Block: 1/4
(11/12) at Missouri: 2 att., 3 yds, 1.5 avg, 0 YAC, 0 TDs; Lead Block: 2/4
(11/24) at Texas A&M: 6 att., 9 yds, 1.5 avg, 1 YAC, 1 TD; 1 penalty (false start); Lead Block: 1/3
(12/3) at Baylor: 14 att., 61 yds, 4.4 avg, 19 YAC, 0 TDs; 1 fumble, 1 key block; Lead Block: 5/6
(12/28) vs. California: 5 att., 21 yds, 4.2 avg, 9 YAC, 1 TDs; Lead Block: 0/1
2011: 13 GP/10 GS, 48 att., 200 yds, 4.2 avg, 6 TDs; 1 rec., 4 yds, 4.0 avg, 0 TDs
2010: 11/2-134-592-4.4-6; 4-49-12.3-0
2009: 14/1-87-335-3.9-12; 7-42-6.0-0
2008: 13/2-76-338-4.4-12; 0-0-0.0-0
- missed 1 game in 2010 with an ankle injury
If Johnson can come into a camp early on and contribute on special teams, he stands a chance of making an NFL roster or at least a practice squad. After a few years under his belt, then he might be able to develop as a lead blocker. But he'll likely always be a bit limited there. He just doesn't play with the power or pop as a blocker as he does as a runner. He is a solid short-yardage and goalline runner, but that's all he'll ever be in the pros. And he's not so great there that he'll really be more effective than your average NFL runner. Teams will like his bruising style, but his subpar balance and burst will limit just how good a player he can be. He's the type of player that bounces around the league for a couple of summers, and if he improves as a lead blocker might be a guy that can be a decent stopgap or backup fullback. But the key will be special teams. He's not good enough offensively that a team is going to carry him on their roster unless he can be a stud on special teams.
Johnson is just a body in camp that just is too much of a developmental option at fullback to think he stands a legit shot at making the Falcons practice squad. He would have to shine on special teams and prove himself more adept as a third down option to be anything more than a camp body.
Johnson isn't worth drafting. While he does have some upside as a lead blocker and short-yardage runner, the amount of time that it takes to develop him means he shouldn't be at the top of anybody's priority undrafted free agent list.
1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.