There are plenty of players that one could spotlight on the offense of the Arizona Cardinals. They have stars such as QB Carson Palmer, WR Larry Fitzgerald, and RB David Johnson. However, the running back leads this offense in many ways. David Johnson is a tremendous two way back and will be a perennial Pro Bowler for years to come. That is why we chose to spotlight the star running back.
The Arizona Cardinals selected David Johnson in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Johnson played his college ball at Northern Iowa. He is a big bodied back who can do it all. He runs well, he can pass block, and most importantly he catches the ball out of the backfield. That is the impressive part of his game given his size.
As a runner, David Johnson is very powerful. He loves to lower and run behind his pads. Johnson is also light on his feet. The jump cut is one of his most effective moves when avoiding tacklers in space. For a 225lb back, he is surprisingly fast in the open field.
David Johnson split carries in 2015 with Chris Johnson. However, you began to see the promise that this kid could have. He finished the 2015 season with 581 yards.
Johnson was also active in the return game. He was tied for the league’s longest return, 108 yards. He took that one to the house for a touchdown. He finished 2015 with 598 return yards and 1 TD.
2016 saw David Johnson become the full-time running back of the Arizona Cardinals. He would finish the season as the seventh ranked RB in the league in rushing. He had 1,239 yards rushing. Johnson also contributed 879 yards through the air.
David Johnson is a vital part of the Arizona Cardinals. If their offense is to succeed in 2017, they will need every bit of his talent. The multi-skilled player is just one piece that makes the puzzle complete. However, he is a large piece.
Editor’s Note: This article can also be seen in our upcoming NFL Preview Edition.