Skip to main content

2020 NFL Draft

Cleveland Browns select Miami RB Duke Johnson in the 3rd round

The Browns selected Miami running back Duke Johnson in Friday's third round with the 77th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Johnson ran for 1,652 yards and 10 touchdowns during his junior season with the Hurricanes and cleared more than 900 yards in his freshman and sophomore campaigns. Johnson added 38 receptions for 421 yards and three touchdowns in 2014, a season that saw him run for 249 yards in a single game against Virginia Tech.

"He's got a complete skillset that can affect our roster in multiple ways," Browns general manager Ray Farmer said. "We love the fact that he's quick and agile, well balanced. One of my favorite things that I've watched is when you watch the kid run through trash and if guys are on the ground, he can jump over people, hit the ground and still make a cut and keep balance. A lot of good things we like from him that he brings to the table."

Johnson finished his three-year Miami career with 3,519 yards -- the most in program history -- in 33 games, good for an average of 106.6 yards per contest.

Farmer said Johnson, who is listed at 5-foot-9 and 207 pounds, reminds him a little of bit of Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard and a little bit of former Pro Bowl running back Brian Westbrook.

"I think that a lot of people are going to kind of gravitate him to that third-down role because of his measurables, but I do think the guy is a capable runner," Farmer said. "He ended as Miami's all-time leading rusher down there. The guy is talented and he's been productive. Regardless of how he fits in, I think the guy is going to get opportunities to carry the ball, catch it and contribute on special teams."

A Miami native, Johnson burst on the scene as a freshman in 2012 with 947 rushing yards, 221 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. Two of those scores came on special teams, where he set a Miami single-season record with 892 kick return yards.

Johnson's sophomore season was shortened to eight games because of a broken ankle. He averaged 115 yards per game en route to 920 yards and six touchdowns.

"I think I am unpredictable," Johnson said. "I'm a one-cut kind of guy, hit a hole and see it. I can make things happen, very versatile out of the backfield. I can line up at receiver and create mismatches out of the backfield."

It marks the second straight year Cleveland has selected a running back in the third round. The Browns traded up in last year's third round to take Terrance West. He joins a running back room that currently includes West, Isaiah Crowell, Glenn Winston and veteran Shaun Draughn.

The Browns averaged 108 rushing yards per game in 2014, good for 17th in the NFL. West and Crowell combined for 1,280 yards and 12 touchdowns as rookies.

"I know there are two young backs like myself. As far as me coming in, I am just going to do to the best of my ability to come in and work hard, day in and day out and get better and allow them to get better, as well," Johnson said. "At the end of the day, the coaches make the decision on who is going to be the starter based off of practice and things like that. All I can do is work hard and push myself and help push other guys and bring them along with me."

Johnson is the fourth player selected by the Browns, joining DL Danny Shelton, OL Cameron Erving and LB Nate Orchard.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content