If you like these scouting reports, be sure to check out the National Football Post's 2009 Fantasy Draft Guide.
Chris Johnson: Tennessee Titans
Why We Like Him:
Arguably the fastest player in the NFL, if Johnson gets into open space forget about it. The Pro-Bowler put up a very impressive rookie season by ranking eighth in rushing yards (1,228), 13th in rushing touchdowns (9) and ninth in yards per carry (4.9, minimum 75 attempts). Johnson can also get it done through the air as he caught 43 passes in 2008 (15th).
The addition of free agent speedster Nate Washington at wide receiver will help the Tennessee offense to stretch the field, creating more room for Johnson to work underneath. Keep in mind: Johnson put up the aforementioned statistics despite having to split carries with running back LenDale White.
Now that the Titans coaching staff has seen how valuable Johnson is to the lineup (remember the playoff game against Baltimore when Johnson got hurt?), expect more touches in 2009.
Why We Don’t Like Him:
Expect White to steal some of Johnson’s goal line touchdowns again this season. Additionally, there isn’t much film of him playing with backup quarterback Vince Young, so if Kerry Collins gets hurt, things could get messy; however, if Young somehow finds himself under center, the Titans are going to continue to pound it out on the ground, meaning Johnson will still get his touches.
Our top sleeper from 2008, if Johnson was the full-time running back in Tennessee, we would have him ranked in the top five, no questions asked. Johnson’s explosiveness in the open field is electrifying as he possesses the big play potential to take it the distance every time he touches the ball.
We expect more receptions for Johnson this year in addition to another stellar season on the ground. His ability to break plays in both phases of the offensive game make him a top 10 draft pick in 2009. Plan accordingly.
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