NFL Draft Analysis: Ian Johnson, RB, Boise State Broncos

by James Li on March 12, 2009 @ 03:40:31 PDT

 


Boise State running back Ian Johnson has declared himself eligible for the 2009 NFL Draft. The redshirt senior is best known for his nationally broadcasted 240 rushing yards and five touchdowns against Oregon State as well as his pivotal role in the Broncos' stunning 2007 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl victory.

In his 2006 season, Johnson led the nation in scoring with 25 touchdowns (1,755 yards) and was named to the All-American first team. His numbers dropped off in 2007, however, with 1,087 yards and 16 touchdowns. His stats dipped again in 2008: 766 yards and 13 touchdowns. Johnson currently holds the Western Athletic Conference record for rushing touchdowns with 58.

Strengths

  • Excellent acceleration and change-of-speed ability; good vision
  • Soft hands out of the backfield
  • 4.46 in the 40-yard dash: second-fastest back at the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine
  • Decent weapon as special teams kick returner
  • Huge heart; no doubt on effort

Weaknesses

  • Has some nagging injury concerns
  • May be over-hyped based on a few performances
  • Easy to tackle
  • Does not often reach elite speed on the field

Expected draft placement

Johnson is a guy with great character who will bring a positive influence to any locker room. At the NFL level, there are doubts that he can be an every-down back, but he has proven himself to be a viable weapon as a pass-catcher and special teams player.

With an impressive NFL Combine, Johnson is projected to be drafted in the fifth round. Potential suitors looking for some midround running back talent include the Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Chicago Bears and Cincinnati Bengals. However, that late in the draft any team could conceivably draft him.

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About James Li

James Li has been a KFFL contributor since 2006.

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