The Detroit Lions will reportedly waive running back Kerryon Johnson later on Thursday. While it’s never a good thing to see a second-round pick cut after just three seasons, it would not be accurate to call Johnson a complete bust in Detroit.
Johnson burst onto the NFL scene by averaging an impressive 5.4 yards per carry his rookie season to go along with 32 catches for another 213 yards. Most notably, Johnson quickly put an end to Detroit’s 70-game drought of lacking a running back who amassed 100 yards in a single game with a 101-yard performance against the Patriots on “Sunday Night Football.” A few weeks later, he did it again in Miami with what would become his career-best performance: 19 rushes, 158 yards and a touchdown.
So instead of lamenting his release or focusing on the negatives, let’s look back at the best moments in Johnson’s short career in Detroit.
Today’s Question of the Day is:
What was Kerryon Johnson’s best run in Detroit?
My answer: It may be his first NFL touchdown ever.
Kerryon Johnson TRUCK STICK pic.twitter.com/F05YDybw8i— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) September 30, 2018
In all of my scouting, I was obviously aware of Johnson’s burst and short-area quickness. We knew he was slippery and had some eye-popping jukes in college. What I didn’t know he was capable of was how physical he could be in the running game despite his relatively average size for a running back.
It’s likely that physical nature that allowed Johnson’s career to continue in Detroit in 2020. That mentality of play allowed him to find a role as the team’s best pass protector in the backfield last year. He has always been fearless of contact, and that had many believing he could hold onto that role under the new regime.
Alas, it appears the Lions are looking for more in their running back room. Good luck, Kerryon.