Everything You Need to Know About Bears Fourth-Round Pick Roschon Johnson
The Chicago Bears wrapped up NFL Draft weekend by making 10 picks. No, they didn’t fill every vacancy, but second-year GM Ryan Poles added potential starters and intriguing depth options to the mix. We’ll meet the Bears’ 10 draft picks, get to know a bit about their past, and where they project to go moving forward.
ROSCHON JOHNSON (ROUND 4, PICK 115)
• Position: Running back
• College: Texas
• Height, weight, hand size, arm length: 6-0, 219 pounds, 9 5/8″ hands, 32″ arms
The Bears, as an organization, have done well in drafting and developing running backs in recent years. Since letting Matt Forte walk away after the 2015 season, the Bears have drafted a Pro Bowl running back (Jordan Howard, 2016), a running back who was an All-Pro returner (Tarik Cohen, 2017), a 1,000-yard rusher with high-end leadership skills (David Montgomery, 2019), and a solid rotation back with room to grow (Khalil Herbert, 2022).
Not all of their RB picks have been hits. Jeremy Langford (2015) and Kerrith Whyte Jr. (2019) didn’t last long. Meanwhile, Trestan Ebner (2022) has his work cut out for him to make the roster this summer. And it might be Roschon Johnson’s arrival that nudges Ebner down a peg. So let’s get to know a new guy.
ROSCHON JOHNSON HIGHLIGHTS
STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
- Running style is highly determined and very physical.
This is exactly the type of verbiage I like seeing describe my running back draft pick.
- Willing and capable in pass protection.
I bet Justin Fields is grinning from ear-to-ear while reading this.
- Four-phase special teams experience.
Translation: Get ready to see Johnson early, often, and everywhere!
- Takes heavy contact on most carries.
Well, it’s not getting any lighter at the NFL level.
- Lacks juice to widen field and find chunk runs.
That stings. But also, maybe don’t call those types of runs for a player when it’s not part off their game.
- Burst to clear NFL run lanes in question.
The only way to solve any questions is to play the game. And I’m looking forward to seeing Johnson do that in 2023.
RELATIVE ATHLETIC SCORE
Relative Athletic Score grades player measurements on a 0-10 scale and compares them to their contemporaries. It is a unique way to give some of these prospects some more depth and perspective.
WHERE HE FITS
A multi-phase contributor who could be the Bears’ top running back option by midseason.
Roschon Johnson’s profile reminds me of David Montgomery in that he does so many little things well. And he does it in an aesthetically pleasing way. Yes, highlights and sizzle reels are designed to make players look good. But Roschon’s running style is visually pleasing. Plus, he chips in as a blocker and pass-catcher out of the backfield, meaning he isn’t one-dimensional. On top of all that, Johnson is a special teams contributor in multiple facets. All of this adds up to a player whose some of his parts are greater than the whole.
In other words, pegging Johnson into one specific role right now would be foolish. It seems like the ideal path for Johnson’s development is to let him dabble here and there on special teams, get him touches via the return game, let him earn more snaps by proving he can excel in the passing game (as a blocker and receiver), and eventually let him take over as the lead back. It might not happen early, but it’s feasible that Johnson could be RB1 by year’s end.
We often point out how OC Luke Getsy is a Matt LaFleur disciple in Green Bay. But LaFleur is a Shanahan-style disciple. And if the Bears can duplicate what the 49ers do with their backfield, then I think the Bears’ offense will be better for it. If it happens, then I imagine Johnson being in the middle of it all.
Seriously, I think fans are going to like this guy A LOT: