From now until the 2023 NFL Draft, we will scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top-10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents. Today, I’ll be profiling Texas RB Roschon Johnson.
#2 Roschon Johnson/RB Texas – 6002, 219
|Player||Ht/Wt||Hand Size||Arm Length||Wingspan|
|Roschon Johnson||6002, 219||9 5/8||32||N/A|
|40-Yard Dash||10-Yard Dash||Short Shuttle||3-Cone|
|Broad Jump||Vertical||Bench Press|
— Excellent size and muscle with large lower half and broad shoulders
— Great lower leg drive and ability to finish, pushes tacklers and the pile forward
— Strength and size to run through low arm tackles
— Capable of delivering powerful shoulder blows against higher tacklers, routinely breaks tackles and gets YAC
— Shows lateral agility and can jump cut
— Displays plus vision and ability to find the hole, patient runner in gap schemes
— Has impressive burst off his cuts, good acceleration and reaches top speed quickly in second level
— Flashes good hands and ability to adjust to the ball outside his frame
— Willing and aggressive pass protector with wide base and stout anchor
— Shows good ball security with multiple points of contact, doesn’t allow ball to swing out and had just one career fumble
— Versatile and wore lots of hats as team’s backup, blocker, Wildcat QB, split out, occasional receiver and kick returner
— Lots of special-teams value in different phases
— Fresh legs and doesn’t have wear and tear most other backs do
— Regarded as a smart and selfless leader with strong work ethic
— Backup throughout his career and doesn’t have a lot of tape or outstanding aggregate production
— Not often the workhorse back and came in fresh off the bench
— Only three career games with 20+ carries, five with 15+
— Tends to run too high and tall, creating more surface area to hit
— Will try to spin off tackles instead of lowering shoulders, reducing his power
— Lacks long speed to run away in the third level, numbers reflected in his testing
— Can miss blitz pickups, needs to scan more effectively
— 47 career games, five starts with the Longhorns
— 22 years old
— Career: 392 carries, 2190 yards (5.6 YPC) 23 TDs, 56 receptions for 420 yards (7.5 YPR), three TDs, attempted two career passes, completing one
— 2022: 93 carries, 554 yards (6.0 YPC) 5 TDs, 14 receptions 128 yards 1 TD
— Only one season with more than 100 carries — 2019 with 123 — spent last two seasons as Bijan’s Robinson backup
— 11 career tackles including eight in 2022, experience and time spent on coverage units
— Began college career as a quarterback before moving to running back in 2019, volunteered to play linebacker though never did
— Three-star recruit from Port Neches, Texas, chose Texas over Florida, Baylor, Ohio State, Penn State, and several other schools
— Threw for 7,700 yards and ran for 4,900 more in high school, registered 85 total touchdowns, offense averaged 48.3 points per game his junior year
— Had 4.0 GPA in high school, three-time Big 12 All-Academic selection (2020 through 2022)
— Once won a high school playoff game 72-69, scored game-winning TD with 25 seconds left, totaled 598 yards from scrimmage (326 passing, 272 rushing) with 10 total touchdowns
— Uncle made documentary after following his high school career
— Coaches gave him choice to redshirt or keep playing freshman season at Texas, chose to keep playing despite backup status to “help the team”
Though it’s a little trite, Texas RB Roschon Johnson feels like something as a “riser” in this process. Bijan Robinson’s forgotten backup, Johnson has been selfless and versatile throughout his Longhorns career. His tape is fun, too. Johnson has great size and a lot of upper and lower body strength. He’s a guy who runs through low arm tackles and shows the leg churn to push the pile forward. Cut-up of what I’m talking about.
But if you want one run to describe his game, it’s this one.
And he can bring the pain, too. My favorite run was this one against Kansas State. Watch #19 ram him and take the worse of the blow and get hurt on the play as Johnson keeps on going.
Johnson lacks long speed, but he shows burst to reach his top speed at the second level. He also has lateral quickness and can make jump cuts to pick his lane and explode upfield. Collection of those clips. He’s not a super loose runner but can put his foot in the ground and explode.
He’s also a willing pass protector and receiver with the size and strength to square up and anchor and the hands to adjust to throws in the pass game. He was often used on checkdowns but still worked hard to bring the ball in.
And he’s an asset on special teams with eight tackles in 2022. He hits like a linebacker. Check out this kick-coverage tackle.
On the negatives, Johnson is tall and runs a bit upright. He needs to keep his pad level down to really highlight his power and reduce surface area. He also tries to spin too often out of tackles, which takes away his power and allows tacklers to take him down.
He also was rarely the team’s lead back. Though he was occasionally called upon for that role — Johnson had 31 carries in a win over Kansas State in 2021 that saw him basically close things out — his tape looks strong in part due to his always being fresh and coming off the bench. That needs to be taken into consideration. Can a backup in college become a lead NFL runner? It’s happened but not often.
Johnson is a sleeper back due to serving as Robinson’s understudy, which limited his playing time. Johnson brings a ton of interesting traits and, besides long runs, there isn’t much on his tape he can’t do. He can fit in an inside zone or gap running scheme with the makeup to be a four-down player, coming in and helping on special teams right away. Don’t count on him to bust off 50+ yards but everything else is in his wheelhouse. His stock is probably too rich for Pittsburgh but he’s just about everything they look for.
My NFL comp will be a familiar one to Steelers’ fans: James Conner, a powerful runner who lacked great breakaway speed and played a little tall but showed the ability to be a three-down guy with the linebacker makeup (once playing DE himself) that Johnson shows.
Projection: Early Day Three
Depot Draft Grade: 7.8 – Potential Starter/Good Backup (Third Round)
Games Watched: vs Kansas State (2021), vs Alabama (2022), vs Baylor (2022), vs UTSA (2022)