Photo of David Johnson
Drafted By: Cardinals
  • Round 3
  • Pick 22
  • Overall 86

Combine Results

5.56 ?
  • 4.50 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 25 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 41.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 127.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 6.82 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.27 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"They needed this pick. The Cardinals needed a big back to complement Andre Ellington. Johnson has outstanding passing game traits. He catches the ball like Le'Veon Bell." -- Mike Mayock

  • 6'1" Height
  • 31 1/4" Arm Length
  • 224LBS. Weight
  • 9 5/8" Hands


Played in 2015 Senior Bowl, gaining 43 yards rushing while adding a touchdown, a pass reception for 16 yards and 82 kick-return yards. Selected first-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference in both 2013 and 2014 and became first player in school history with three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Selected third-team FCS All-American in 2014 while breaking 15 school records. In 2012, selected second-team All-MVFC and totaled more than 100 rushing yards in each of his final six games. Selected All-Newcomer MVFC and honorable mention All-MVFC in 2011. Redshirted in 2010.



Looks good on the hoof. Possesses a big body and falls forward for additional yards. Smooth pass-catcher out of the backfield and is a mismatch for linebackers. Has been a consistent weapon out of the backfield while in college. Uses an effective jump cut on inside runs to change direction and can string a couple of them together on the same run. Has good long speed when he gets into space. Has enough pop behind his pads to become a better finisher.


Long-strider. Doesn't always look like he has the foot quickness to burst through the hole consistently. Allows defenders to get a hand on him through the replace and isn't a classic finisher. Tends to hit the brakes too hard in order to make his cuts. Questionable vision. Looks to make cuts instead of keeping the run play-side. Scouts want to see more fire in his play demeanor. Play strength and blocking are problems. Goes down too easily.

Draft Projection

Round 2 or 3

Bottom Line

Johnson lacks the short-area quickness to be a consistently effective every-down running back, but he has good size, speed and hands, so he will be a factor. Johnson has been impressive this offseason, and if a team is looking for a rhythm runner with a good pace and hands to threaten out of the backfield, then he is the guy.
-Lance Zierlein
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.