Home » Blog » Duke Johnson Reportedly Outplaying Other RBs In Browns Camp

Duke Johnson Reportedly Outplaying Other RBs In Browns Camp


He may have been a third-round pick, but Duke Johnson is reportedly already raising eyebrows at Cleveland Browns’ Organized Team Activities.

According to ESPN’s Adam Caplan, Johnson has been “the most impressive” of all Browns backs, and although Caplan conceded that Johnson will have to maintain his production when “the pads go on”, he said his “money” would be on Johnson emerging as a three-down back for the embattled franchise in 2015.

Albeit premature, this is still very welcome news for Browns fans, who were witness to a backfield in a constant state of flex all last season. Terrance West was good but not great in 2014, racking up 673 yards for a yards-per-carry average just below 4. Rookie Isaiah Crowell earned fans with his hard-nosed running style, but remains too unpolished and one-dimensional to be a serious impact player.

Meanwhile, the 5’9”, 207 pound Johnson enjoyed a stellar three years with the Miami Hurricanes, but claims that he could emerge as an every-down back in his debut season are hard to believe. Johnson’s smaller frame and blistering speed – he ran a 4.5 40 at the most recent NFL Combine – give him a skill set more akin to a Darren Sproles or a Giovanni Bernard; a dangerous change-of-pace back with the ability to create severe mismatches against linebackers in coverage.

But those veterans are the exception, not the rule, when it comes to smaller skill players thriving on NFL offenses. The Rams’ Tavon Austin has yet to show even a fraction of the game breaking talent he displayed in college, while Pittsburgh pocket rocket Dri Archer saw virtually zero playing time behind renaissance man Le’Veon Bell in 2014.

Johnson certainly has all the skills to be named starter to open Cleveland’s season, but he will need much more time to become the all-purpose weapon some as already touting him as.

  • 100%