In some recent posts, we’ve discussed the possibilities of certain players who were drafted by general manager David Caldwell getting released. While we’ve mostly focused on players from the 2013 NFL Draft (Josh Evans and Ace Sanders specifically), we should also take a look at some of the players drafted in the later rounds in 2014.
Several people thought Caldwell and the Jacksonville Jaguars got a steal when they selected Blake Bortles’ college teammate Storm Johnson in the 7th round. Considered by some analysts to be worthy of a 3rd or 4th round pick, Johnson dropped to the 7th round for a multitude of reasons, most notably his issues with ball security.
While some people are starting to talk about how Johnson could play a big role in 2014, the reality is Johnson needs to play really well to earn any carries this season. Head coach Gus Bradley has already come out and expressed the expectation for Toby Gerhart to become the team’s primary running back, and the team clearly has higher hopes for Denard Robinson in his second season.
I asked Gus Bradley if Toby Gerhart would be his bell-cow back. 'That's what we hope to see … we like what we saw on tape.' #Jaguars
— Marc Sessler (@MarcSesslerNFL) March 24, 2014
In addition to the talent ahead of him on the depth chart, Johnson has a host of issues he needs to work on before he can be counted on as a 3-down back. Johnson has serious and borderline crippling issues with ball security and he has a long way to go in pass protection. He doesn’t have nearly the athleticism or breakaway playmaking ability of someone like Denard Robinson. There’s a reason he dropped to the 7th round.
Having said all that, I still believe Johnson is in a good spot to make the final roster. Unless Johnson has a meltdown in the preseason and fumbles the ball multiple times, he should be the 3rd or 4th option behind Gerhart,
- Daniel Lago