RB time: David Johnson in the third

Posted by Darren Urban on May 1, 2015 – 7:49 pm

The Cardinals get their running back.

It wasn’t Adrian Peterson (it never was going to be him) and it wasn’t an early pick either. The Cards grabbed Northern Iowa’s David Johnson with their third-round pick, The guy is 6-1 and 224 pounds — there is your size guy in the backfield — and can run and make big plays. He immediately jumps into the mix with Andre Ellington as the Cards. He can catch the ball (38 receptions last season) as well as rush it (1,553 yards, with 17 touchdowns.) There are questions about his ability to break tackles and run in traffic, but he produced and at his size looks like a good pairing with Ellington.

Ellington is going to remain the main guy for now. Bruce Arians has said that repeatedly. But Johnson should find his way on the field.

David Johnson

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37 Responses to “RB time: David Johnson in the third”

  1. By Ottis Anderson Fan on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    Like the pick!!!

  2. By Big Ken on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    ‘jumps into the mix’ exactly what was needed.

  3. By Mark in Chandler on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    If they had taken David Johnson in the 2nd and Marcus Golden in 3rd I would have liked both picks. Like David Johnson a lot. Strong big runner but has break away speed. Is not a goal line pounder but is dynamic.

  4. By John The Draft Guy on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    David Johnson is a great pick. Had a great Bowl week. He has been even thought of being an H-Back because he can catch the ball so well. With Johnson and Ellington, we have two very good receivers out of the backfield.

    Seriously; Keim should only pick in round 3

    Round 1 – Cooper, Bucannon, Humphries
    Round 2 – Minter, Niklas, Golden
    Round 3 – Honey Badger, John Brown (pretend Martin didn’t happen), David Johnson.

    If you could only have one round of players, who would you take?

  5. By CreditCard on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    goal line pounder is zack zenner

  6. By Steve . on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    This in my opinion was the best pick the Cards have made so far in this draft, good job!

  7. By STEVEN ROOT on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    I saw him play hs football and against iowa and iowa st tore them up. Great young man and solid rb and great pick
    cards fan since 1968

  8. By shian on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    It’s not been a sexy draft, but with this coaching staff and their ability to teach, these are all very smart solid picks. DJ was top 4 and rated above Melvin Gordon at the combine. I like the way he moves.

  9. By david in gilbert on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    Another Ellington, what a waste!

  10. By Grabling on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    Bad call

  11. By draftguy on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    Cardinals should have Bud Dupree and Randy Gregory.. then i’d be excited.. we are drafting afterage players.. Oh well, now we will get top five picks for the next few years… but Keim will blow those picks too probably!

  12. By Doug b on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    Dude was a stud at the senior bowl! him or Ellington should find some lanes behind our offensive line now. So the camp battle will between StephanTaylor and Williams for the third back on the roster?

  13. By brinnc on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    YES! YES! YES! Finally I actually predicted a pick, been calling for Johnson out of Northern Iowa for at least 3 months!! Him or Ajai were my biggest prospects at RB now we have our downhill runner!!! And this guy is for real, he will play with a chip on his shoulder, just like J. Brown last year, he has been told he isnt quite good enough at every level and all he does is prove everyone wrong, wrong, wrong!! PERFECT “COMPLIMENT” to Ellington, they will make an awesome two headed monster and if they are in the backfield together it will keep defenses thinking and keep them honest, now they cant afford to key on Ellington!! Give this kid the rock 20-25 times a game, he thrives on challenge!!! Welcome to the BIRDGANG, D. Johnson!!!!
    Two awesome picks and a questionable pick in the first round, which I have to believe was a great pick if SK/BA say Humphries was the #13 best player in the draft I have to give them the benefit of the doubt, hopefully DJ proves me and many other Cardinal fans wrong and has a solid career helping to anchor our O-Line for the next decade!!!

    Im sure there will be fans that dont like this pick, but give him a chance, im telling you I have followed him for a couple of years (obsessed with small college pro prospects!!) and Johnson out of Northern Iowa has been raising eyebrows for a few years now!!
    Now maybe a ILB or CB in the 4th round, then look for BPA reguardless of position (other than QB, we dont need anymore QB’s except maybe a 7th rounder or Undrafted Rookie Free Agent) and that is a position our Cardinals have not been in for quite some time now!!! Thanks to SK/BA the Cardinals have the luxury of drafting Best Player Available, and not trying to fill a need with a 5th 6th or 7th rounder! !!

  14. By William Barry on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    If I liked the first two picks, I really like round 3 pick.

    He has over 2,500 yards catching out of the backfield,
    can run with speed and get by the defense
    Not overpowering, but has great skills, and according to ESPN, can out run defensive players, and is very smart with high character, again.. Love this pick. Has size and speed to catch the ball out of the backfield.

    ESPN Trent Dilfer is just raving about this pick!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. By Andy Kw on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    Finally my guy is here. Hoping for David Johnson and we got him. Keim is the 3rd Rd and later super star drafter. 1st And 2nd Rds, uhh let’s say there is room for improvement. Love the Deone pick last year but the Cooper, Minter, Niklas have yet to pan out. Hopefully Humphries and Golden have gold careers.

  16. By Coach K on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    Golden and Johnson are great picks. Golden has great motor, and Johnson was the second fastest RB in the class. Former wide receiver.

    I’m a little worried about Sean Mannion going to the Rams. This could be big problems for the Cardinals a few years from now. He is the next Peyton Manning, and is clearly the smartest QB in this draft by a mile.

    I hope we don’t regret passing on Mannion.

    Mannion going to another team in our conference was the worst thing that could have happened for us. Great for the Rams….a nightmare for the Cardinals.

  17. By Coach K on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    Let us hope we can steal Zach Zenner in round six or seven. He is the second coming of Rocky Blier.

    We need insurance at RB, and Zenner is that insurance!

  18. By rio on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    David Johnson, well here is the scope, he is not the back you give it to on forth and one, but on third and twenty give it to him, he is fast and explosive.

  19. By Tratzman on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    David Johnson is a steal at 86. The guy can flat-out do it all. I’ve had the pleasure of watching him for 4 years at UNI and I can tell you that this guy has the making of NFL superstar because he has all the tools. He’s also a great person as well. Great job, Cardinals! Hopefully D.J. will carry on the legacy of Kurt Warner, who was also from UNI!

  20. By Honda on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    Like everything SK and BA have put together, up to this point. I wonder if any body else, out there, Thinks we should be looking for a Punter??? Just wonder’in.

  21. By gage on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    Love this guy! I wish colts drafted him but will definitely be rooting for him. He’s a beast

  22. By D on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    Cards had a good day today. Sounds like they want to move up in round 4. I am guessing either a ILB or WR. Watch for AZ to go after T. McBride a very good special team player.

  23. By Manny Simo on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    I like what SK/BA have done so far. Wish we could have had Gordon but it was reach. I hope Humphries pans out and sits Massey who has not becomed what I thought he’d be. Now we can devote the last few rounds to find another RB and some D players. Excited about next year. Go Cards.

  24. By John The Draft Guy on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    On a side note, What a great couple of days for Todd Bowles.

    Leonard Williams, Devin Smith and Lorenzo Mauldin. Potentially a great draft. Congrats Todd and good luck.

  25. By brinnc on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    To the poster wondering about a punter, we have one of the best especially dropping inside the 20 he was just injured last year! But bringing in a punter for competition is never a bad idea, especially if you can get the highest rated punter with Mr Irrelevant pick!

    Coach K,
    Now I really hope you were wrong about Mannion and I was right! LOL!! It will really suck for me if he haunts us twice a year for the next 15yrs!!! Dont doubt he is a good QB just not for the Cardinals, I have been a Logan Thomas guy since his freshman year, I cant change directions now!!! Thomas is going to be our franchise QB of the future, I have to keep the faith in SK/BA and of course myself, I did a lot of hootin and hollerin last year when we drafted him, and a hypocrite I’am NOT!!
    Johnson is the downhill runner we needed, he is the opposite of Ellington, which is what we needed, Zenner as our goal line TD puond it between the tackles short yardage guy in the 6th or 7th round would be awesome!!! Maybe even use the extra 5th rd pick we now have on Zenner!!! Im seeing a large trend of players being drafted higher than they are rated, seems like the average is 15-20picks higher than the so called guru’s have them rated!! So with all teams reaching like that, is it really a reach??

    Coach K
    I thought it was impossible to disagree so much on a prospect (Mannion) but then turn around and agree 200% on another prospect (Zenner) but it seems we have done it, and remained civilized toward one another in the process!!! You know among the regulars on here, you and JTDG, AndyKw, Dynosaur, and a few other regulars I know im forgetting, I love reading your posts, we are on here all year and I have come to respect all the rgular’s opinions without always agreeing, that is what is so great about Darren’s blog, just have to get through these few days with all the once a year posters and all the negative posts that occur during the draft. LOL!

  26. By D on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    Just realized S. Diggs from Maryland is still available, he is the kick returner to draft. I also like J. Ryan from MI for LB depth on Saturday.

  27. By brinnc on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    David in Gilbert
    Johnson is the ANTI-ELLINGTON, he is a downhill north/south runner thahas speed and the perfect type of compliment to Ellington’s style, not sure where you are getting your info but this guys style is the opposite of Ellington!! That he can catch the rock out of the backfield is just another plus that RB’s with his power style usually dont have the pass catching ability!! He is built to take the punishment and run the rock 20-25 times a game, and even though nobody can predit injury , he is built to lessen injury and wont wear down like Ellington, overuse of Ellington led to his injuries, Johnson is the type of RB who thrives on power running, and injury shouldnt be a worry (to an extent of course, I mean an injury can happen from any freak accident, on or off the field!! Hell im to the point where im in danger of throwing my back out when I sneeze or fart!!! LOL!) Plus what excites me the most and made me a Johnson fan for a couple years now, and has caused me to posts 100’s of posts on the Cardinals drafting this guy, on this board and many other Cardinal blogs is the fact that he has been told his whole life he isnt quite good enough and all he has done is prove everyone, including the experts wrong, he has to play with a chip on his shoulder once again to prove he belongs in the NFL!!! And if given the carry’s, 1200-1400 yards rushing will become the norm for this guy!!! He is in the same situation as J Brown has been at every level and like Brown he has proven all his critics wrong!!! That is the best kind of football player to have on your roster, and with our much upgraded line, look out, this guy is going to shock the NFL!!!
    Now another type of football player in the same boat as Johnson and Brown who I would be thrilled if the Cardinals were able to get him with one of the two 5th rd picks is Justin Hardy/East Carolina, same deal, chip on his shoulder, turned down scholly’s to smaller schools who wanted him as a QB because he was best player on his team in hs, and a small hs at that, led them to a state championship, but walked on at ECU because he knew he had a better chance at the NFL as a WR, shattered all freshman records at ECU and Conference USA, and ended up as the NCAA all time career receptions leader, and that is all divisions and allWR’s who have played the game!!! Reminds me of a young Fitz, will catch anything thrown within the same zip code, and is awesome inside the red zone!!! Also used to blow by the defenses and catch a large amount of his receptions over the top and behind the defense, and a major plus is he was an awesome KR/PR as well, his QB (Shane Cardin, also a draft prospect) had a completion % over 70% this year and just shy of 70% last season, so that should give everyone a clue as to how good Hardy’s hands are, if he is on the board in the 5th rd, and the Cardinals snag him, he could be the steal of the draft!! And I would be the happiest Cardinal fan on the face of the earth!!! LOL!

    Any 4th round predictions?? Just positions, not names, there are just to many names to try and pinpoint in my humble opinion!!
    I say if SK/BA have a CB that they are high on then that would be awesome, or an ILB would be an excellent direction as well, I will throw out a name that would be a value if we could get him in rd 4 or a steal if he was around for one of our 5th rd picks, Mike Hull/Penn St… can play ILB or OLB and is good (not great) at both run and pass, he is steady in both situations, a 3 down player, wouldnt mind seeing him in a Cardinal Uniform, besides he is from Linebacker U, cant go wrong taking a linebacker from Penn St!!! He was an all B10 Linebacker and versatile, playing ILB & OLB, hopefully Cards have their eye on him.

  28. By Coach K on May 1, 2015 | Reply


    Comparing Logan to Mannion is like comparing JaMarcus Russel to Peyton Manning.

    Mannion to Rams is going to be our worst nightmare!

    I have been preaching this for over three months. Petty and Hundley were never in the same league as Mannion. That’s why I was hoping the Cardinals grabbed him in round three.

    I can only hope the Rams move out of our division before Mannion becomes a starter.

  29. By brinnc on May 1, 2015 | Reply

    I was mentioning how I May have to become a Jets fan if we didnt draft either of my favorite RB’s in rd 3 (thank god SK drafted Johnson and got me off the hook, I just dont look good in Green!! Pretty ironic huh…22+ years in the Marine Corps and I use the excuse I dont look good in green! LOL!) Have to admit that Bowles has something brewing in NY (actually Jersey!) but I have found myself reading up on the Jets and have become a fan, but at this point its more of a fan of Bowles succeeding than being a fan of the Jets!! As I posted earlier, I think he has the Jets in the playoffs even if they make no changes to the QB’s they have on the roster, I think with the Jets defensive players, and the studs they have at every level of their defense, plus a pretty awesome draft so far, if you mix in Bowles defensive schemes, the Jets are going to make some noise in the AFC!

  30. By Jeff A on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    I like this draft so far. I’ve been too busy to really dig into the details this year, but on the surface things look good. I would have preferred a pass rusher in the first, but I know most of the top names disappeared before our pick. I’d rather draft a tackle we rated high than reach for a need at pass rusher. I know Massie supposedly played pretty well (I think he graded average by PFF standards), but I’ve never been sold on him and the coaching staff never seemed to be either even when he became the starter. If he’s as good as advertised it will be a big help for our running game. Getting a pass rusher in the second fits a need and seems to be a good one.
    Nice to see a complement back drafted to pair with Ellington. It’s all we really needed. While I was excited about the possibility of Gordon (not Gurley, Cards need to avoid seriously injured RBs) or a trade for Peterson, it would have been a waste of not infusing talent in another position when getting a power RB was all that was needed. This guy looks good and seems to be an uncommon combination of size and speed and receiving ability, but the knocks are ability to break tackles and run in traffic which are what we needed. Talent is talent though and if our line is upgraded like it looks then that’s the biggest difference. FYI, Cooper flashed last year when given the chance due to injuries and I think if he kicks the injury bug he’ll finally produce as expected.

  31. By Jeff A on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    BTW, I expect the Cards to look to draft a WR, CB, ILB, DT, a C/G type, and an edge rusher with either the WR or CB to be a return man. Can Grice or Kerwynn do returns? May be a deciding factor on them getting a roster spot. Taylor may be on the way out.

  32. By jetstreamgreen81! on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Great job on day 2! Big Mizzou fan and Golden will get after the QB. He was hurt early in the year with a bad hamstring and he still put up similar #’s to Shane Ray. He is relentless and will be a beast. Loving Johnson in the 3rd as he is an absolute steal. I know I was upset with the Humphries pick but I have an idea. What if we offered Massie to Tennessee since Whisenhutt drafted him and knows what he can do and get an earlier 4th round pick? Don’t know if they would do it but Humphries could play right away and we get an extra early 4th round pick and maybe add an extra 5th round pick since Massie would be a starting RT.

  33. By Big Ken on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Second the motion for Coach Todd Bowles doing a great job.

  34. By cards62 on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    I want Michael Bennett out of Ohio State, if you like the Michael Bennett who play for Seattle you will like this one to. Hope we can get him he is a player.

    Glad to hear you guys really like this running back, but I am already worried about our first two picks.

    JTDG thNks for your input on the draft

    Go Cards

  35. By Scott H on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Geez, sounds to me like the Rams are the NFC West team that is really moving and shaking in this draft. And they already up-graded at QB with the trade for Foles. I sure do hope the 49ers will be falling off this season as much as it seems like they should – because the Rams ( like the Jefferson’s ) are movin’ on up.

    Seems like the Cardinals are having a solid draft, no more / no less. But it appears we have the RB we needed from this draft. so…onward. Time for the investments we have made in this O-line to start paying off.

    But…..Ellington is still the main guy for now?? And Johnson SHOULD find his way onto the field??? REALLY??? How is he NOT going to find his way onto the field?? I’m not liking how any of that sounds. Ellington is NOT a main guy as a RB in his league, and I think we just found that out the hard way. AT BEST ( or worst ), I would hope for a 50-50 split in playing time between these two. I look at how things went in Cincy last year, where Hill ( the bigger back ) basically took over after Bernard got banged up. Bernard was the THE guy when the season started and was ranked by most as a top 10 back. But once Hill got a chance, that was it. Bernard continued to have a role but NOT as the “main” guy. I wonder if ( and, honestly, I almost hope that ) something similar happens here. No, I don’t want Ellington to get hurt again. But I DO want someone more physically suited for it to do the heavy lifting in this offense. Because I think we are better served by Ellington being the change-of-pace guy instead of the “main” guy.

    Since we were apparently never going to get AP ( and I really did try to get through this post without using those two letters! 🙂 ), I was really hoping for an Eddie Lacy type. Not sure if that is what we got, but….we got what we got, and we move forward.

  36. By CORMAC on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    The more I research this guy, the more I like him. Great value pick. Melivin Gordon has 4900 total rushing yards, and Johnson has 4600 BUT Melivin has only 222 yards receiving while Johnson has 1700…….. that’s right, more total yards. Better all around football player, PLUS he is an upstanding gentleman. GREAT PICK.

  37. By Cardinals FOREVER on May 3, 2015 | Reply

    I love this pick, however, when i watch his highlights, he needs to improve his trucking skill: Breaking tackle.

    Cardinals have the best offensive line in the NFL:
    Best run block: Mike L.
    Strong and tall 6”7 (8.5 million annual salary) : Jared Veldheer
    2013 first round pick (didn’t play a lot due to injury0: Cooper
    2015 first round pick (Great personality): D.J. Humphries
    Center: Looking great next season
    Best WR: Larry Fitz.
    A WR had a great rookie season: John Brown
    First round pick: Micheal Floyd.
    TE: Need improvement, 2015 7th round: Gerald Christian
    RB: 2015 Third round: David Johnson, 6”1, 224 pounds, 4.5 on 40 yard dash

    You can see Cardinals drafted few defensive line men during 2015 draft and signed 6 free agents.

    However, The biggest issue is their CB positions, they have one of the best CB Patrick P. but with the lost of Cromartie, they need to do something or developing Bethel and Powers to be a CB.

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