Storm Johnson RB Central Florida #8
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Size/Athleticism: Average size and strength. Doesn’t really stand out in any area in terms of his physical tools, but he meets all the minimum requirements.
Vision: Capable of maneuvering his way through traffic between the tackles, but he’s quick to bounce it to the outside. Played in sort of a gimmicky offense at UCF, at least in terms of their rushing attack, and benefitted from a lot of reverses and fake-reverses to confuse the defense.
Power: Doesn’t run between the tackles all that often—he’s quick to give up and bounce it outside. When he’s got momentum, he’ll fall forward a fair percentage of the time but he doesn’t break a ton of tackles and he doesn’t have the strong legs to really push the pile. He’s very much reliant on his blockers to create for him between the tackles.
Speed/Agility: Hits the hole with a nice burst. Has the speed to take it the distance, but he’ll get caught from behind occasionally. Lacks the elite burst and the agility to runaround unblocked defenders closing off the edge, which sometimes resulted in some negative plays when tried to bounce it outside. Basically a one-cut runner. He’ll make a most and then try to just turn on the jets, but he isn’t fast enough to have a ton of success with this method. Tends to run upright, which leads to a lack of balance and makes him susceptible to being knocked down without even a wrap-up tackle or a solid hit.
Passing Game: Limited experience in the passing game. Hands are shaky and he made some bad drops. Pass protection is a liability, but it appear to improve as the season went on so there’s reason to hope he’s willing and able to grow in this area.
Intangibles: Only one year of experience as the feature back. Transferred from Miami FL after 2010 season.
Durability: No known issues.
Comments: Johnson is a fairly well balanced back with a blend of size and speed. Unfortunately, he just doesn’t stand out in any one area. Teams generally prefer to target running backs that can do one thing well—either power or speed—and Johnson just doesn’t really have either. But he has enough to both to warrant a look late in the draft and could be a successful backup if improves his vision and willingness to work between the tackles. With his current approach of bouncing everything outside, he just won’t find success against the athletic linebackers of the NFL.