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Duke Johnson | Running Back

Team: Miami (FL) Hurricanes
Ht / Wt:  5'9' / 206

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Miami RB Duke Johnson "compares favorably to [Shane] Vereen from a size, style and versatility standpoint," points out Scouts Inc.'s Kevin Weidl.
It's an interesting observation, because New England lost Vereen to the Giants and might now seek out his replacement in the draft. Johnson, a newer make of a similar sports car, should hold great interest because of that. "He has a strong combination of vision, quickness and burst to create yards as a runner and after the catch, and he is dangerous in space," Weidl wrote. "In addition, Johnson brings the versatility to create mismatches in the passing game with experience both out of the backfield and flexed out in the slot." The 5-foot-9, 194-pound Johnson had 1,652 rushing yards on a 6.8 YPC average and 10 touchdowns in 2014, adding 38 receptions for 421 yards and three scores. Mar 21 - 4:46 PM

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NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks notes that scouts have "raved about" Miami RB Duke Johnson's "footwork, quickness and creativity."

"The scouts also touted Miami RB Duke Johnson as a playmaker. They raved about his footwork, quickness and creativity. Impressed with IQ, too," Brooks tweeted. The 5-foot-9, 194-pound Johnson possesses a ton of explosiveness, which should translate well to the next level. However, the Miami prospect will have to continue to improve in pass-protection, in order to see valuable time on the field. NFL teams looking for a back with game-changing ability in the open field, will look to grab him on day 2 of the draft.
Mar 18 - 2:33 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein believes Miami RB Duke Johnson's "lack of protection skills and his injury concerns could force him into a committee situation."

"One of the most explosive runners in college football during his time at Miami, Johnson doesn't need much of a crease to make defenses pay," Zierlein wrote. "His explosive quickness and elusiveness should help him adapt quickly to NFL speed and his feel and courage as a one-cut runner should earn him instant playing time." The analyst compares Johnson to C.J. Spiller. "Explosive burst and plays with suddenness," his scouting report reads. "Elusive in tight quarters. Has lightning in his feet. Has hips and feet to stop and start without stalling. Rare ability on stretch plays to hit cutback lanes that other backs can't get to. Runs with patience and a well-timed burst." The 5-foot-9, 194-pound Johnson had 1,652 rushing yards on a 6.8 YPC average and 10 touchdowns in 2014, adding 38 receptions for 421 yards and three scores.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 18 - 2:42 AM

NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks believes Miami RB Duke Johnson would "be the best fit" to replace Lesean McCoy in the draft for Philadelphia.

"Duke Johnson in my mind would probably be the best fit. He's a carbon copy of Shady McCoy stylistically, the way he runs inside and outside," Brooks said. The Hurricane prospect offers a versatile skill-set and is the perfect weapon coming out of the backfield. Johnson shows ton of explosiveness and may fit the profile of what Chip Kelly is looking for in a future back.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 4 - 2:00 PM

Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman spoke to one NFL scout who questioned why Miami did not win at least nine games in 2014.

The scout called attention to multiple NFL prospects, including RB Duke Johnson, WR Phillip Dorsett, LB Denzel Perryman and DE Anthony Chickillo, along with freshman QB Brad Kaaya. "They had more front-line talent than half the teams in the SEC," the evaluator said. Multiple players told Feldman they do not blame head coach Al Golden for the losses, but the question lingers.
Source: Fox Sports
Feb 25 - 10:28 AM

Miami RB Duke Johnson "a very explosive player, but durability concerns could hurt his draft stock," wrote ESPN's Todd McShay.

"He's undersized (5-9, 206), and even though he started all 13 games in 2014, he's dealt with some injuries during his Miami career," McShay wrote. "He suffered a season-ending ankle injury in 2013, has dealt with concussion-like symptoms and has a history of migraines." The 5-foot-9, 194-pound Johnson had 1,652 rushing yards on a 6.8 YPC average and 10 touchdowns in 2014, adding 38 receptions for 421 yards and three scores. He finished with 3,519 career rushing yards, passing in the record books elite Hurricane RBs such as Frank Gore, Clinton Portis, Edgerrin James, Willis McGahee and Ottis Anderson. CBS projects him as a Day 2 pick.
Feb 18 - 11:34 AM

The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson spoke with one NFC scout who believes Miami RB Duke Johnson will merely be a third down back "due to his size."

If it is only based on size, that is ridiculous. We will soon see what Johnson weighs, but he was listed at 5'9/200 lbs while with the Hurricanes. There is a major difference between "short" and "small." Also, a number of ball carriers have succeeded at that size, and smaller, on more than just passing downs.
Feb 16 - 10:30 AM

Miami RB Duke Johnson's "times in the 40 and several other drills should be impressive [at the combine]," observes NFL.com.

"Johnson is a good receiver, which adds to his value and is a reason he could be the third back selected," wrote College Football 24/7 writer Mike Huguenin. "He has had some injury issues, and his medical report will be scrutinized." NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein compares Johnson to C.J. Spiller. "Like Spiller, Johnson has ridiculous foot quickness and lateral agility," Zierlein wrote. "He can catch the ball out of the backfield with ease. He is a very natural runner, but like Spiller, Johnson faces questions about whether he can hold up to the pounding he'll take in the NFL." The 5-foot-9, 194-pound Johnson had 1,652 rushing yards on a 6.8 YPC average and 10 touchdowns in 2014, adding 38 receptions for 421 yards and three scores. CBS projects him as a Day 2 pick.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 11 - 1:39 AM

NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein compares Miami RB Duke Johnson to C.J. Spiller.

"Like Spiller, Johnson has ridiculous foot quickness and lateral agility," Zierlein wrote. "He can catch the ball out of the backfield with ease. He is a very natural runner, but like Spiller, Johnson faces questions about whether he can hold up to the pounding he'll take in the NFL." The 5-foot-9, 194-pound Johnson had 1,652 rushing yards on a 6.8 YPC average and 10 touchdowns in 2014, adding 38 receptions for 421 yards and three scores. CBS projects him as a Day 2 pick.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 4 - 10:01 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein notes that Miami RB Duke Johnson "has lightning in his feet."

"Has hips and feet to stop and start without stalling," Zierlein wrote. "Rare ability on stretch plays to hit cutback lanes that other backs can't get to. Changes direction without breaking stride. Has second gear around the corner and can erase the angles." The 5-foot-9, 194-pound Johnson had 1,652 rushing yards on a 6.8 YPC average and 10 touchdowns in 2014, adding 38 receptions for 421 yards and three scores. He finished with 3,519 career rushing yards, passing in the record books elite Hurricane RBs such as Frank Gore, Clinton Portis, Edgerrin James, Willis McGahee and Ottis Anderson.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 3 - 11:49 PM

Miami junior RB Duke Johnson "is dynamic in space" and will compete with Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah as the "elite 'air back' in the 2015 draft," wrote CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

The 5-foot-9, 194-pound Johnson had 1,652 rushing yards on a 6.8 YPC average and 10 touchdowns in 2014, adding 38 receptions for 421 yards and three scores. "Though perhaps shorter and slighter than ideal for a traditional franchise back, Johnson proved precisely that for the Hurricanes, a program well known for producing elite runners," Rang wrote. "Johnson leaves Miami as the most productive back in school history, overtaking the likes of Frank Gore, Clinton Portis, Edgerrin James, Willis McGahee and Ottis Anderson, among others with 3,519 career rushing yards, including the 132 he ran for Saturday." On Sunday, Johnson officially declared for the 2015 NFL Draft. CBS projects him as a Day 2 pick. "Johnson is a natural runner with light feet and greasy knees which help him slither through gaps with a gait that looks almost effortless," Rang wrote.
Source: CBS Sports
Sun, Dec 28, 2014 06:33:00 PM

Miami junior RB Duke Johnson officially declared for the 2015 NFL Draft.

Of the many poorly-kept early-entry decisions, Johnson's may have been the worst. Nobody expected him to return for his senior season, and his mother revealed he would jump to the pros on Saturday. Johnson said he made his decision before the team left for the Independence Bowl, and we think it's possible his mind was made up before the season even began. The 5-foot-9, 194-pound Johnson had 1,652 rushing yards on a 6.8 YPC average and 10 touchdowns in 2014. He also chipped in as a receiver with 38 receptions for 421 yards and three scores. Johnson owns several Miami records, including most career rushing yards (3,519), career yards per carry (6.69), and career all-purpose yards (5,526 yards). He has the look of a Day 2 pick.
Sun, Dec 28, 2014 12:56:00 PM

Miami junior RB Duke Johnson rushed for 132 yards on 24 carries in a 24-21 setback versus South Carolina on Saturday in the Independence Bowl.

He also had 51 receiving yards on five catches. The 5-foot-9, 194-pound Johnson had a huge final season (presumably) on campus, posting 1,652 rushing yards (6.8 YPC) and 10 touchdowns, as well as 38 receptions for 421 yards and three scores. He is expected to announce his NFL decision on Sunday, so stay tuned.
Sun, Dec 28, 2014 12:03:00 PM

Sun Sentinel's Christy Cabrera Chirinos reports that Miami junior RB Duke Johnson said if the NFL Draft Advisory board advises he will likely be a second or third-round pick, that will provide motivation for him going forward.

""I won’t be disappointed at all. I don’t really expect people to have high expectations for me," Duke told the Sun Sentinel. "I always play with a chip on my shoulder whether they project me first round or the last round. If I do decide to come out, my work ethic, the way I play will show it all. I just work hard. I can’t really complain about where they project me or how they feel I will go. I’m just going to do my part and that’s working hard and playing football." The 5-foot-9, 194-pound Johnson, told the media over a week ago that it's "50/50" that he returns for his senior year. Johnson has rushed for 1,520 yards, with 10 touchdowns and a 7.0-yard per carry average, while hauling in 33 receptions for 370 yards and three scores.
Thu, Dec 18, 2014 03:41:00 PM

Miami junior RB Duke Johnson possesses "great quickness, and he runs with surprising power," said an AFC executive.

"I think this is shaping up to be a very good crop of running backs," the exec said. "A guy I really like is Duke Johnson." Earlier this year, Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville compared Johnson's style -- accelerating through the hole and changing direction -- to Walter Payton and Barry Sanders. The 5-foot-9, 194-pound Johnson has said it's "50-50" whether he declares for the draft. He will announce his decision on December 28th.
Source: NFL.com
Wed, Dec 17, 2014 11:24:00 PM