The Jaguars held a formal interview with East Carolina University running back Chris Johnson at the NFL combine, and were seemingly impressed with everything that he showed. The 5'11", 190 lb. running back ran the fastest time out of any of his position group, as he posted an eye-popping 4.24 in the 40 yard dash.
"At the Combine I did the 40-yard dash, the vertical jump, and broad jump," Johnson said. "At my pro day, I'm going to do the short shuttle, the three cone, the bench press, and position drills. The only thing I'm going to do there that I did at the Combine is the vertical jump. I hope to improve on the vertical jump."
As impressive as his 40 time was, Johnson's stats on the season were possibly even more impressive. Chris rushed for 1462 yards as a senior, and established a new Conference USA record with better than 227 all-purpose yards per game, which led the nation. This was playing on a team without a great passing game in which opposing defenses keyed on stopping him.
Johnson was asked about the week of the combine, a week in which he met 19 teams.
"I just told them that I was a level person with great character, no character problems in my future or anything like that," he said during this exclusive interview with Scout.com. "They're going to get somebody on their team that the whole team is going to be able to get along with and the whole team will like."
There are some concerns about Johnson's size not being able to translate to the next level, but he has shown great leg drive and was able to take the ball up the middle in college. There is room on his 190 lb. frame to add an additional 10 lbs. of muscle without losing quickness. Johnson is an explosive cutback type of runner, and can be compared to a mix between the Jaguars current tandem of halfbacks, Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew, in the way that Johnson has the cutback abilities of Taylor, with the size, speed, and strength of Jones-Drew.
Johnson is currently ranked as the third-best running back by Scout.com, and the sixth-best running back by NFL Draft Scout. Most believe that Johnson will likely be a second-round pick on the heels of his fine senior season and even better combine performance. The Jaguars certainly have greater needs than a running back early in the draft, but Pro Bowl running back Fred Taylor did turn 32 years old back in January. Will the Jaguars spit in the face of need drafting and go with a player that could be a top talent? We will have to wait and see.
Johnson Overqualified for Jaguars?
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