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    Dillon Johnson’s Draft Profile | Washington, RB Scouting Report

    After an outstanding 2023 campaign at Washington, is Dillon Johnson a painfully underrated RB prospect entering the 2024 NFL Draft?

    The Washington Huskies’ explosive offense has garnered a ton of buzz approaching the 2024 NFL Draft, with big names like Rome Odunze, Michael Penix Jr., Ja’Lynn Polk, Jalen McMillan, Troy Fautanu, and Roger Rosengarten all receiving their fair amount of flowers during the pre-draft process.

    Yet, Dillon Johnson was one of the anchors of this offensive unit, taking the ground game to impressive heights on the road to a national championship appearance. Does Johnson’s scouting report suggest he is being overlooked by many draft pundits entering the NFL?

    Dillon Johnson’s Draft Profile and Measurements

    • Height: 6’0″
    • Weight: 217 pounds
    • Position: RB
    • School: Washington
    • Current year: Senior
    • Hand: 9 3/8″
    • Arm: 30”

    Johnson’s exceptional production during his short time as a member of the Huskies doesn’t exactly mirror his numbers over his three-year run with the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

    His collegiate career certainly got off to a promising start during his true freshman campaign, with 225 rushing yards, 157 receiving yards on 36 receptions, and four scores.

    Despite possessing the build of an early-down back, Johnson saw just 89 carries in both his sophomore and junior seasons at Mississippi State, which saw him never top 500 rushing yards in any single year while rocking a Bulldogs jersey.

    Yet, he remained heavily involved as a pass catcher, with 65 receptions in 2021 and 48 receptions in 2022. Johnson’s tenure with Mississippi State concluded with 2,062 yards from scrimmage to go with 12 total touchdowns.

    Johnson’s decision to transfer to Washington ahead of his senior campaign turned out to be a great decision. He rushed for a career-high 1,195 yards and 16 TDs on 233 carries — which is more than his three years at Mississippi State combined — to go with an additional 190 receiving yards on 24 receptions in 2023.

    Johnson’s Scouting Report

    Strengths

    • Hulking physical back who can impose his will on defenders at the point of attack when he loads up his power behind ideal pad leverage.
    • Contact balance and leg churn is present; Violent movements when trying to forcefully disengage with defenders who don’t have the strength to get him to the ground on first contact.
    • Very soft hands and ideal body control when operating as a pass catcher out of the backfield; 172 career receptions over his four-year career.
    • Flashes patience and ability to press the hole in zone concepts.

    Weaknesses

    • Doesn’t have the top speed to generate very many explosive plays at the NFL level.
    • Burst and suddenness don’t jump off the tape; Could struggle to take the edge against NFL linebackers.
    • Lateral agility is more functional than above average; Some limitations pop up when trying to quickly drop his weight to generate enough force for sudden jump cuts in traffic.
    • Consistency as a pass protector could use work; Worst game in 2023 was against Utah.
    • Creativity as a runner is limited by lack of twitchy athleticism when designated rushing lanes don’t open up.
    • Can miss cutback opportunities with his physical style; Often prefers to go with power instead of changing direction.

    Current Draft Projection and Summary

    For a running back, Johnson has an imposing physical build and often plays to his strength, which exists as a downhill runner tough to bring down with a head of steam. In addition, he’s very capable and reliable as a pass catcher out of the backfield.

    Yet, Johnson’s inconsistent vision/decision-making, lack of overall athletic explosiveness, and limited creativity as a runner don’t exactly make him a big-play threat entering the NFL.

    His power alone isn’t exceptional enough to overwhelm NFL-caliber defenders regularly. Johnson could project as a serviceable early-down back who spells the starter and occasionally contributes as a pass catcher but offers little more than what is blocked up properly.

    Look for Johnson to hear his name called early on Day 3 of the 2024 NFL Draft.

    KEEP READING: Top RBs in the 2024 NFL Draft

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