Remember when Bill O’Brien traded DeAndre Hopkins for David Johnson and a second round pick? Remember how unified we all were? The curtain had been lifted. Bill O’Brien’s reign of terror was fully exposed.
Now, all of that is gone. Hopkins’ departure will allow Deshaun Watson to spread the ball around and not focus on one receiver. The receivers are fast, albeit with durability questions. David Johnson is disrespected and in line for a bounce-back season; he can be used like Carlos Hyde and Lamar Miller, but better, despite the fact that Johnson was the third best running back in Arizona last season. As the season is coming closer to fruition, there is more analysis showcasing once again how absurd the Hopkins trade was.
PFF is still ranking the position groups ahead of the 2020 season. Today they ranked the backfields around the league, formally notifying the world that Johnson hasn’t had a great season in three years.
This is what they had to say about Houston:
24. Houston Texans
The Texans acquired running back David Johnson as a part of the DeAndre Hopkins trade, and the team will hope to rejuvenate Johnson’s career as one of the best all-around backs in the league. Johnson did his best work in 2016 when he led the way with a 90.0 receiving grade, and he had 263 more receiving yards than any other running back. However, we haven’t seen that level of play from him in a while, and he’s been in and out of the lineup over the last three years while failing to rush for at least 4.0 yards per carry during that time.
Duke Johnson Jr. is the top returning running back, as he posted an 82.3 rushing grade to go with 3.8 yards after contact per attempt last season. Over the last three years, Duke has forced 0.25 missed tackles per attempt, second-best in the NFL, while ranking fifth among running backs with an 88.4 receiving grade. He could be in line for even more touches, especially given the difficult-to-cover playmakers the Texans have at wide receiver.
The rest of the depth chart is rounded out by relative unknowns in Buddy Howell and Karan Higdon. If David Johnson gets back to form, this is one of the best running back rooms in the league. But regardless of his performance, keep an eye on Duke Johnson, as he’s been one of the most productive backs since entering the league in 2015.
What do you think? Do you think this is a fair ranking? Have you talked yourself into David Johnson yet?