Bears' Roschon Johnson No. 3 rookie RB this year, per Chris Simms
Simms: Roschon Johnson No. 3 rookie RB this year originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Nearly everyone within the Bears organization who spoke about Roschon Johnson, from the draft through the end of rookie minicamp, raved about what Johnson can bring to the team. There’s belief that he can be a foundational player in the offense before long. Now, Johnson is starting to earn some love from the national media, too.
NBC Sports football analyst Chris Simms posted a video on Twitter suggesting that not only did the Bears find a running back who has the chops to start one day, but the Bears found the third-best RB in the class, in the fourth round.
“I know base level you think, ‘How could the backup f—g running back, for the guy that’s No. 1 be the No. 3 running back in all of college football?’” Simms said. “It’s easy, it happens a lot.
“This kid’s the real deal when you talk about tough, realistic NFL yards. And a ton of great 10, 12, 15-yard type runs. He’s going to be great at that.”
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Simms not only loves what Johnson brings in terms of measurables, he loves how Johnson moves.
“Hits the hole fast, ability to accelerate top-notch,” Simms said. “I’m big into the stick the foot in the ground thing… and he can do it violently and make defenders miss. It’s not the breaking down and shaking you that way, it’s more of a ‘You think I’m going to run through that hole, so fast that you turn and run, then I can kind of hit the brakes and cut off of it.’”
But Johnson wasn’t the third running back off the board. He was eighth. Bijan Robinson, Jahmyr Gibbs, Zach Charbonnet, Kendre Miller, Tyjae Spears, Devon Achane and Tank Bigsby all heard their names called before Johnson. Simms believes part of the reason why Johnson had to wait until Day Three was simply because he was a victim of circumstance.
“He just got stuck in a spot where he was behind a guy that’s like a freak of nature that only comes around every now and then in Bijan Robinson.”
Robinson was a top-10 pick this year, with many experts calling him the most exciting running back prospect since Saquon Barkley. Any player would’ve sat behind Robinson on the Texas depth chart. Instead of hitting the transfer portal to chase more snaps and more NIL money, Johnson decided to stay at Texas. That was a plus for the Bears too, especially considering Johnson is entering a crowded RBs room.
The Bears don’t have a depth chart yet, but they do have a reps chart. As things stand right now, Johnson likely has at least two names ahead of him on that list: Khalil Herbert and D’Onta Foreman. Johnson’s patience playing behind Robinson will probably help him succeed on limited snaps in the NFL, now. If Simms is right though, it might not be long before Johnson earns more playing time.
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