A throwback style of ball-carrier, there’s a spot for guys like Texas’ Roschon Johnson on every team in football. He’s a downhill, bruising running back that’ll light up a blitzing linebacker and then take an inside zone carry 40 yards to the house. While his athletic profile won’t jump off the page to many, he may go much higher than you expect in the 2023 NFL Draft. Here are a few of my favorite landing spots for Roschon Johnson.
With Ezekiel Elliott gone, I want more juice in the backfield to complement Tony Pollard and Malik Davis. The Robin to Bijan Robinson’s Batman at Texas, the Port Neches, Texas native would be able to stay home and add fresh legs to a backfield that could use a physical downhill presence if they don’t want to fully anoint Davis as RB2.
Let me preface by saying that I don’t expect Johnson to be available when the Broncos pick in the third round—unless the NFL gets cute. His brand of football would complement Javonte Williams extremely well as a back with three-down potential. Who knows how healthy the presumed starter in Williams will be after tearing his ACL in Week 4 last fall, but adding a talent like Johnson would be a heck of an insurance plan.
J.K. Dobbins is and will continue to be the lead dog, but Johnson is a model of consistency (one career fumble) that can take over the ground game if Dobbins were to miss time. He doesn’t have the wiggle and burst as some of the other backs in the class, but he checks off a ton of the intangible boxes and carries the football with violent intentions.
Kansas City Chiefs
Injuries have plagued Clyde Edwards-Helaire since he entered the league, and with Jerick McKinnon still on the open market, it’s Isiah Pacheco aaaaaaaand La’Mical Perine. Pacheco was another day-three diamond in the rough for GM Brett Veach last spring, but Johnson would provide competition to the speedy RB and some thunder to Pacheco’s lightning if you will. He’s not overly dynamic as an athlete but does all the little things well that could allow him to earn a substantial role from day one.
RBs make $ in pass pro — nice rep from Roschon Johnson. pic.twitter.com/S1lQvdwED0
— Ryan Fowler (@_RyanFowler_) February 1, 2023
The pick would open the eyes of Edwards-Helaire, who enters a massive campaign toward his future for the Chiefs.
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