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Chris Johnson 5'11 197 East Carolina 4.24

By: Robert Davis

Johnson has been a fine all around talent for the Pirates since his first season on campus. As a freshman, he ran for 561 yards and five touchdowns, while adding 236 yards and two touchdowns on 32 catches out of the backfield. As a sophomore, he led the team with 684 rushing yards and six TDís. He added another 356 yards and two touchdowns on 35 receptions. As a junior last year, Johnsonís numbers dipped a little, finishing with 314 yards and four touchdowns to go along with 21 catches for 176 yards. Johnson had a huge year as a senior. He ran for a career high 1,200 yards and 16 touchdowns, while adding 21 receptions for 176 yards as a receiver.

Johnson is a versatile back that is a threat to score any time he touches the football. He is a very good athlete, with very good quickness, and excellent speed. He is explosive in the open field and can make defenders miss and he has the speed to run by just about anyone on the field. Johnson is an excellent receiver out of the backfield and could be a real weapon on third downs. He also brings the ability to play on special teams and return kicks for whoever he plays for.

Johnson has had some problems dancing too much, thinking he can get by on his quickness and then outrun people to the edge. He has done a better job this year of seeing the hole and hitting it but he will need to continue to improve. He probably will not be much of a runner between the tackles, so his future as a feature back may be limited.

Johnson would be an excellent fit for a team that needs some speed and playmaking ability out of the backfield. He is one of the best backs in the draft in terms of big play ability, and he can make them in many ways. Johnson dazzled at the combine, posting a 4.24 40 and making everyone take note of his speed. He could have pushed himself into the second round with his performance there.


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