Photo of Jeremiah Johnson
Jeremiah Johnson (RB)
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 209
College: Oregon
Conference: Pac-12
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
High School: Dorsey
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Johnson was quietly being touted by scouts before the 2008 season as a breakout candidate. After all, 2008 first-round pick Jonathan Stewart's emergence only came after Johnson suffered a season-ending torn right ACL in the sixth game on 2007. Johnson's shoulder popped out of its socket against Utah State after only one 37-yard carry, however, making scouts wonder if he was injury-prone. But he played in every game en route to 2008 second-team All-Pac 10 honors, gaining 1,201 rushing yards, scoring 13 touchdowns and averaging an outstanding 7.1 yards per carry. Had an arm span of 30 3/4 inches and a hand span of 9 1/4 inches at the combine.

High School

High school coach at Dorsey: Paul Knox (2005). Accumulated 1,615 yards (8.9 avg.) and 18 touchdowns rushing as a senior despite splitting time at running back ... Also added nine receptions for 149 yards and two scores for the Coliseum League champions ... Ran for 100 yards or more in six of seven appearances, including 173 rushing yards and 64 yards receiving against San Pedro ... The conference's scoring leader (120 points) and third-leading rusher also tallied seven TDs in back-to-back wins over San Pedro and Sylmar ... The 2004 Oregon Football Camp MVP paced the Dons to a 12-2 record his final year.

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Positives: Good muscular development in upper and lower bodies. Deceptively fast once in the open. Runs with a low center of gravity, bouncing and spinning off tacklers to maintain his balance. Excellent vision and the quickness to cut in either direction to take advantage of that space. Runs through arm tackles and keeps legs churning to get extra yardage outside or a first down inside. Natural hands, adjusting to high and low throws on screens. Stays in front of blitzers and twisting linemen in pass protection. Experienced at returning kickoffs, although he did not handle that duty in 2008 -- possibly to keep him healthy.

Negatives: Short and stout, but not as wide as other compact backs. Tends to dance or bounce outside, which won't work against the speed of NFL defenses, instead of bulling ahead for the needed yardage. Must prove he has the strength to be a short-yardage back. Gets tackled too easily when trying to sidestep defenders. Needs to adjust to a pro-style offense after playing his career in the spread, but Jonathan Stewart's early NFL success shows it's very possible.

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