After David Johnson’s first season in the NFL, the idea that he could be special was not only viable, but had been on display the backhalf of his rookie season.
Then, in 2016, he outperformed even the wildest expectations, creating an even bigger level of success, but also expectations.
Obviously, those expectations were not met in 2017, as Johnson suffered a season ending injury in game on and played a meager 46 snaps on the season.
It goes to show you that the running back position of the NFL is one of short success.
Which is why when a friend from the fantasy world tweeted something out yesterday it immediately caught my eye:
Since 2000, 40 RBs have had 4+ seasons with 1,000+ Yards From Scrimmage— Russell Clay (@RussellJClay) July 9, 2018
NFL Draft Round Distribution
1st - 20 (50.0%)
2nd - 8 (20.0%)
3rd - 6 (15.0%)
4th - 3 (7.5%)
5th - 0
6th - 0
7th - 0
UDFA - 3 (7.5%)
The last 18 NFL seasons, only 40 running backs have made that magic number of four seasons with 1000+ yards from scrimmage.
David Johnson, entering his fourth season cannot reach that mark, obviously, but what it shows is how unique it is to have a consistent success at running back.
Even more, Johnson would only be the seventh running back to do so drafted in the third round and only the 12th to do so after the second round.
Yet, it goes to show that longevity from NFL running backs is probably harder to find than a running back who puts up more than 1000 yards from scrimmage in a season, as 157 players have done so at least once since 2000.
Not that we have to question Johnson’s durability at this juncture, but it also shows how hard it is for any running back, let alone one taken in the third round, to have these results.