Devon Johnson, RB/FB/TE, Marshall – 2016

Panthers, UDFA. Postseason Events: Shrine Game and NFL Combine.

Positives: He has excellent size for a running back, and even good height and great bulk for a fullback. Adequate hand size. He runs with an angry, slashing style and knifes through lanes quickly despite his size. Runs with very good power, with very good leg drive after contact. Runs incredibly determined and gets every yard possible out of a play – not wasting time moving left and right. Always seems to fall forward for extra yards. Will just barrel through defensive backs and repeatedly stiff arm them out of the way. He also runs with above-average speed for his size. Runs with above-average track speed for a fullback and for his size. Adequate ability to change directions with burst in his Pro day measurements.

Negatives: Though he played some tight end in college, he is too small for that position in the pros. Slightly below-average track speed for a running back, though good for his size. Behind the line, he tends to run with his feet slightly out of control. Suspect vision behind the line and will run into his own blockers when a clear cutback lane exists. Could stand to get lower more consistently in short yardage situations. Shows slight evidence of fatigue late in games, but deservedly so. Also seemed more tired in the bowl game after dealing with a shoulder injury for several weeks. Shoulder injury was still affecting him by his Pro day, where he did not do a bench press. Below-average pass protection and will lunge at defenders and block the wrong defender at times. Injured back in 2015 and missed five games, including most of the bowl game as well as Shrine Game. Slightly below-average vertical leap and broad jump at his Pro day. Poor lateral quickness in his Pro day measurements.

Projection: Round 6. I love his game. He reminds me a lot of former Tampa Bay Buccaneer fullback Mike Alstott – not only for his tough running style but for his injury history. He should fit some team’s need for a power running back component in a committee system if he can stay healthy.

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