How Storm Johnson Fits with the Jacksonville Jaguars

Giancarlo Ferrari-KingFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2014

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01:  Storm Johnson #8 of the UCF Knights runs for a first quarter touchdown against the Baylor Bears during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars started the draft by taking a player from the University of Central Florida and ended the same way.

UCF running back Storm Johnson is now the final member of the Jaguars' 2014 draft class.

Standing at 6'0" and weighing 209 pounds, Johnson comes to the team looking to put his well-built frame to good use.

Watching him on tape, he's a hard-nosed, one-cut-style runner who can plant his foot, push off it, then get up the field with a sudden burst.

This pick makes a ton of sense for the current regime. For starters, Johnson will be able to reduce the workload recently signed halfback Toby Gerhart is about to undertake.

On top of that, Johnson has a history with quarterback Blake Bortles, which will hopefully make both guys' transition to the NFL a lot easier.

When he was asked during a post-draft conference call, via, about how it felt to be joining up with his former UCF teammate, Johnson told reporters:

Oh, of course; me and Blake have been through a lot for the last two years. I’m very close to Blake. He’s the quarterback, so I did everything with him from film work to extra catching or just getting my footwork right or just evaluating opponents. 

Johnson's most recent campaign at Central Florida showed his growth as a runner. Finishing the 2013 season with 1,139 yards rushing and 260 yards receiving, he was able to score 14 offensive touchdowns and become a crucial element of the Knights offense.

Despite those impressive numbers, it's not a sure bet that Johnson will wind up becoming the team's second-string running back. Remember, the Jaguars used a fifth-round pick on Denard Robinson last year and still have Jordan Todman on their roster.

But Johnson is a different type of runner than either of those two. He may not have the pure quickness of Todman or the versatility of Robinson, but he has shown repeatedly that he can pick up yards between the tackles, taking a beating in the process.

If you think about the Jaguars' zone-blocking scheme, you have to like this pick even more. With the offensive line working in unison, Johnson's ability to plant and drive is the perfect fit for their scheme.

Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch needs strong runners like Johnson and Gerhart who find a crease, muscle through it and get to the second level.

The biggest issue you'll notice watching any Johnson tape is that he has difficulties with his pass protection.

At times he struggles to get his body in the right position, which deems him ineffective chipping a guy or stepping up and taking on a pass-rusher.

No matter how talented of a runner you are, not being able to protect your quarterback doesn't fly in the National Football League. Your job is to be a complete tailback who can do everything you're asked to.

Chris Szagola/Associated Press

Of course, like every other rookie on this roster, Johnson will have to learn the nuances of the position if he wants to carve out a role for himself.

The good news is the Jaguars' depth chart is his for the taking.

Though he won't knock off Gerhart as the team's starter, it's easy to picture him coming into training camp and outworking Todman and Robinson for the backup role based on his skill set and connection to Bortles.

Picking Johnson in Round 7 was a great way for Caldwell to put the finishing touches on a star-studded draft.


To learn more about this young man, listen to Johnson's full post-draft conference call via

All CFB stats and information courtesy of, unless noted otherwise. 

All NFL stats and combine information via, unless noted otherwise.