As part of our coverage leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of 200 prospects, including what the scouts around the league are saying and video interviews with each player.
David Johnson (RB) Northern Iowa
6'1" | 224 lbs.
287 CAR, 1,553 YDS, 17 TD | 38 REC, 536 YDS, 2 TD
3rd round, No. 86 overall (Arizona Cardinals)
What scouts are saying:
"Possesses a big body and falls forward for additional yards. Smooth pass-catcher out of the backfield and is a mismatch for linebackers. Has been a consistent weapon out of the backfield while in college. Uses an effective jump cut on inside runs to change direction and can string a couple of them together on the same run. Has good long speed when he gets into space." - Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
"Johnson only has one gear, but he has good giddy-up and won?t slow down easily through the line of scrimmage and at the second level. His best quality is his receiving ability, displaying smooth body control, soft hands and vision after the catch to create." - Dane Brugler, CBSSports.com
"Long-strider. Doesn't always look like he has the foot quickness to burst through the hole consistently. Allows defenders to get a hand on him through the replace and isn't a classic finisher. Tends to hit the brakes too hard in order to make his cuts. Questionable vision. Looks to make cuts instead of keeping the run play-side." - Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
Video analysis provided by NBC Sports and Rotoworld NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.
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Akiem Hicks finally earned the recognition he deserved in 2018 with his first trip to the Pro Bowl, and playing on the NFL’s No. 1 defense provided the national attention he should have received in his first two years with the Bears.
He’s a solid interior pass rusher, but where he dominates is in run defense, leading the NFL in run stops last season according to Pro Football Focus.
When Hicks beats an offensive lineman at the line of scrimmage to make a big tackle in the backfield, it’s a work of art, and he revealed the secret to those flashy plays on NFL Game Pass.
He broke down the film of a play against the Green Bay Packers where he beats center Corey Linsley because he knew right guard Jordan McCray was going to pull to the left.
“I read it before the snap happens. I know that McCray is going to pull just based off his stance,” Hicks said. “I know his stance for every play that he’s going to do. I’m going to be at least 75 percent right.”
Hicks looks at how much weight an offensive lineman is putting on his hand, how far apart his legs are and how much bend is in his hips.
“If you do your due-diligence as a defensive lineman and prepare like a professional during the week, you’re going to know,” Hicks said.
Any little deviation from a normal stance is an indicator to Hicks of what the play is going to be, and that pre-snap knowledge keeps him a step ahead of the blocker in front of him.
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If Mitchell Trubisky has the kind of break out year in his second season under Matt Nagy that Bears fans are hoping for, he should have no problem cashing an OVER 26.5 passing TDs ticket for bettors who want to back him.
Per Bet Chicago, Caesars is rolling out division props and they set Trubisky’s touchdown pass total for 2019 at 26.5 and his pass yard total at 3,744.5.
While both those marks would be career highs for Trubisky, this number will surely be seen as a slight by the hometown fans and continue to add to the polarizing nature of the quarterback formerly known as the Pretty Boy Assassin.
In Chicago, and if you’re team Mitch, this number is ridiculously low and you’re probably already pounding the over.
Outside of Chicago, and with some analytical support, there’s a lot of doubt about Trubisky’s future as a viable option as an NFL starter, so I’d guess the Pro Football Focus crowd is probably gonna take the under.
We rolled out some props of our own on the Under Center podcast last week including:
Will Mitch Trubisky pass for 10 or more touchdowns than Craig Kimbrel has saves? (Including playoffs for both)
26.5 regular season passing touchdowns probably gives Kimbrel the edge, but it’s right in range.
And that Trubisky – Kimbrel prop prompted this bold response from our own Bears insider JJ Stankevitz:
I don’t think I’m in the 40 club with my guy JJ, but the OVER certainly feels like the move here. At least it better be if the Bears are gonna make any sort of NFC North title defense.