At first glance, it would seem unlikely the team would draft two fullbacks from the same program in a two-year span. But in this instance, it makes a lot of sense. While Hester is a versatile player who is most effective with the ball in his hands, Johnson is a throwback fullback known best for opening running lanes and picking up blitzes.
Johnson (6-foot-1, 262 pounds) is a load at the point of attack, yet has the agility to make blocks in space. He also has a relationship with the man he would split time with in San Diego, as he backed up Hester when they played together at LSU.
"I've talked to Hester a few times," Johnson said. "I kind of stay in touch with him."
FB Quinn Johnson
By Steve Franz
Johnson and Hester share a friendship and an alma mater, but that's about the extent of it. While Hester improved as a blocker as last season progressed, his best asset will always be his versatility. The knock on him is that he's good at a lot of things, but not dominant in any one aspect of the game.
That's not true for Johnson, who is great at one thing -- opening holes for running backs.
"[The team that drafts me will] get a physical guy and someone who brings the energy of the team up and things of that nature," he said. "I'm definitely an asset to the team."
What makes Johnson even more appealing is his affordability, as he should be available during the final two rounds of the draft. Much of that projection is because many NFL teams are looking for more well-rounded fullbacks as opposed to the old-fashioned bulldozers.
One trait of new-school fullbacks is the ability to make plays as a receiver. The Chargers fullbacks combined for 25 receptions last season, while Johnson had just five catches during his entire college career.
"I heard a lot of people were wondering about my hands, so I'm definitely looking to show my hands and show the physicality that I bring to the game," said Johnson from the Senior Bowl.
His underdeveloped receiving skills were hardly scaring off potential suitors in Mobile, Ala., as Johnson met with nine teams on the first day of Senior Bowl week.
If his in-demand services are available in the seventh round of the draft, the Chargers may have to pull the trigger and add a third tiger to the den.
Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 15 years and covered the team since 2003.