Bears News: Getting to Know: Roschon Johnson
Scott Wachter - USA Today Sports

Bears News: Getting to Know: Roschon Johnson

by - Senior Writer -

When the NFL offseason began and the free agent period got underway, no one knew what to expect from the Chicago Bears. Sure, most felt they would be aggressive when considering how much money they had at their disposal, but most didn't know how aggressive they would be.

Perhaps the most surprising move of them all wasn't even a move the team made, but instead, a player as, David Montgomery, elected to hit free agency and signed with the Detroit Lions. That put the Bears in a bind, as Khalil Herbert and Tristan Ebnar were the only RB options on this team.

Chicago did their best to address the loss of Montgomery by adding D'Onte Foreman in free agency, as he will be looked upon to shoulder a huge load this season. However, Ryan Pace continues to prove that he wants as much depth as possible on this team and thus drafted a RB for the second straight season in the NFL draft.

This time it was the Senior RB out of Texas, Roschon Johnson, who will be taking his talents to the Windy City. Taken 115th overall in the fourth round, this was not the Bear's original pick. Instead, it was acquired from the Saints. Johnson will be coming into a RB by committee system, but after backing up Bijon Robinson the past few seasons, reserver roles are nothing new for Johnson as he will fit right in with this team.

The 6-2 and 225-pounder is big for a RB, but don't let that fool you. The kid can play, and had he been in a different program, he would have been the starting back instead of the backup. Johnson spent a ton of time with the Longhorns and was part of their program for four seasons.

During his time, Johnson saw the field in 47 games, with five coming as starts. Although he didn't start a ton, he was very productive when he was on the field, picking up 2190 yards on 392 carries. That ranks him 18th on the Texas all-time rushing list, with plenty of good RBs on it. He also added 23 touchdowns to his name, so finding the end zone was nothing new for him.

Despite playing the backup role to Robinson, Johnson never viewed himself as a backup and put forth a pretty good showing this past season.

Johnson tallied 554 yards this past season on 93 carries to help spell Robinson when needed. Four of those carries resulted in touchdowns while adding 129 yards receiving with one score.

Initially a QB, Johnson felt the move from QB to RB was more of a physical challenge than a mental one, having to adjust to aspects of the game like running with pad level. Once he mastered that, the production increased as he became a reliable asset to the Texas offense.

Johnson is a power back with a bruising frame and fits the football cliche of tough, smart, and dependable. Johnson isn’t overly creative and lacks the juice to hit quick-closing NFL holes. He needs it blocked up to get downhill and uncork his power on the second level.

While his lack of suddenness makes him somewhat limited as a runner, he will be better at stuffing blitzers than many of the No. 3 backs currently in the league. Johnson might be fighting off competition yearly in camp, but his toughness and four-phase special teams value could give him an advantage.

Along with his physical style in the backfield, the Longhorns fell in love with his consistency, which Chicago hopes will continue in the NFL. He is also a durable player that you can depend on, as he had one career fumble in 47 games. Should the Bears not want to use him in the backfield, he is one of the most experienced players on the special team's side of things, giving him another edge over other players.

He plays slow, but he’s a bulldozer. He’s also going to test way faster than he plays. He can play special teams and get tough yards, so there will be a place for him. Johnson will have his work cut out for him in camp, but the work ethic is there, so expect him to win one of those final roster spots this season.

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