Duke Johnson

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Duke Johnson
refer to caption
Johnson with the Cleveland Browns in 2016
No. 29 – Cleveland Browns
Position: Running back
Personal information
Born: (1993-09-23) September 23, 1993 (age 24)
Miami, Florida
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight: 210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school: Miami Norland
(Miami Gardens, Florida)
College: Miami (FL)
NFL Draft: 2015 / Round: 3 / Pick: 77
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 3, 2018
Rushing attempts: 269
Rushing yards: 1,114
Rushing average: 4.1
Receptions: 193
Receiving yards: 1,780
Total touchdowns: 10
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Randy "Duke" Johnson Jr. (born September 23, 1993) is an American football running back for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Browns in the third round (77th overall) of the 2015 NFL draft. He played college football at the University of Miami.

Early years[edit]

Johnson attended Miami Norland Senior High School in Miami Gardens, Florida, where he played football and ran track.[1] As a sophomore, Johnson ran for 1,540 yards and 25 touchdowns. In his junior year, he led Norland to a 13–2 record and state runner-up. After beating the Sammy Watkins-led South Fort Myers 44–28 in the semifinals,[2] Norland lost 44–34 to the unbeaten Tampa Jefferson in the class 3A final.[3] During his senior year, Johnson compiled 1,957 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns, 14 receptions for 232 receiving yards and three touchdowns, three kickoff returns and one punt return for scores, as he led Miami Norland to 15–0 finish and state Class 5A championship. In the championship game against Wakulla, he scored five touchdowns.[4]

He was also on the school's track & field team, where he was a standout sprinter and long jumper. He placed 5th in the long jump event at the 2010 GMAC Qualifiers, with a jump of 6.60 meters.[5] In 2011, he placed 4th in the 100 meters at the 3rd Annual Miramar Invitational, recording a career-best time of 10.62 seconds.[6] He finished 3rd in the 200 meters at the FHSAA 3A District 16, with a time of 22.31 seconds.[7]

He was considered the best all-purpose running back recruit by Rivals.com.[8]

College career[edit]

Johnson attended and played college football at the University of Miami from 2012 to 2014.[9] In his freshman season, he rushed for 947 yards on 139 carries with ten touchdowns and caught 27 passes for 221 yards and one touchdown. He also threw an additional touchdown in a 41–40 loss to Virginia.[10] He also played a major role on special teams, where he returned 28 kicks for two touchdowns.[11][12][13] In 2012, Johnson won both the ACC Rookie of the Year and Offensive Rookie of the Year awards. He became the first Miami Hurricane to win both awards. In 2013, Johnson joined the Miami indoor track team, posting a personal-best time of 6.92 seconds in the 60 meters at New Mexico Classic. Johnson's sophomore campaign with the Hurricane's football team came to an abrupt end on November 2, 2013, when he broke his ankle against arch-rival Florida State.[14] Miami lost that game 41–14.[15] Through eight games, Johnson rushed for 920 yards on 145 carries, with six touchdowns. He also had four catches for 77 yards.[12][16] Johnson returned from the injury his junior season in 2014 to play in all 13 games. During the season, he passed Ottis Anderson to become the Hurricanes' all-time rushing yards leader.[17] He ended the 2014 season with 1,652 yards and 10 touchdowns.[18]

After his junior season, Johnson decided to forego his senior season and declared for the 2015 NFL Draft.[19] He finished his college career with 3,519 rushing yards on 526 carries with 26 touchdowns, and had 69 receptions for 719 yards and four touchdowns.[20]

Collegiate statistics[edit]

NCAA Collegiate Career statistics
Miami Hurricanes
Rushing Receiving
Year Team Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg TD
2012 Miami 139 947 6.8 65 10 27 221 8.2 1
2013 Miami 145 920 6.3 59 6 4 77 19.3 0
2014 Miami 242 1,652 6.8 90 10 38 421 11.1 3
Career 526 3,519 6.7 90 26 69 719 10.4 4

Professional career[edit]

On December 28, 2014, Johnson announced his decision to forgo his remaining eligibility and enter the 2015 NFL Draft.[21] Johnson attended the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis and performed a few combine drills before sustaining a hamstring injury. Due to his hamstring, he skipped the three-cone drill and short shuttle and voluntarily chose to skip the bench press. On April 1, 2015, Johnson participated at Miami's pro day and chose to perform the majority of combine drills, but elected to skip the broad jump. He improved his 40-yard dash (4.51s), 20-yard dash (2.57s), 10-yard dash (1.58s), and vertical jump (35") and also completed the bench press (18), short shuttle (4.16s), and three-cone drill (6.88s). Scouts and team representatives from all 32 NFL teams attended Miami's pro day, including head coaches Mike Tomlin (Steelers), Todd Bowles (Jets), and Sean Payton (Saints).[22]

External video
Duke Johnson's Combine Workout
Pro Comparison: Duke Johnson

He also attended private workouts and visits with the New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons.[23] At the conclusion of the pre-draft process, Johnson was projected to be a second round pick by NFL draft experts and scouts.[24] He was ranked as the fourth best running back prospect in the draft by DraftScout.com and NFL analyst Mike Mayock, was ranked the fifth best running back by Sports Illustrated and Scouts Inc., and was ranked the seventh best running back by NFL analyst Charles Davis.[25][26][27][28]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
5 ft 9 in
(1.75 m)
207 lb
(94 kg)
30 38 in
(0.77 m)
9 14 in
(0.23 m)
4.54 s 1.60 s 2.64 s 4.16 s 6.88 s 33 12 in
(0.85 m)
10 ft 1 in
(3.07 m)
18 reps
All values from NFL Combine/Miami's Pro Day[29]


The Cleveland Browns selected Johnson in the third round (77th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft. Johnson was the sixth running back drafted in 2015.[30][31]

External video
Browns draft Duke Johnson 77th overall

On June 16, 2015, the Cleveland Browns signed Johnson to a four-year, $3.10 million contract that includes a signing bonus of $710,092.[32][33]

On August 1, 2015, Johnson injured his hamstring on the first day of the Browns' training camp.[34] He was sidelined for the next ten days, and was inactive during the first preseason game against the Washington Redskins at FirstEnergy Stadium.[35] During Johnson's first pre-season appearance, he was diagnosed with a concussion and was removed from the game.[36] Throughout training camp, Johnson competed to be one of the primary running backs in the Browns' rotation against Isaiah Crowell, Terrance West, and Shaun Draughn.[37] Head coach Mike Pettine named Johnson the backup running back, behind Isaiah Crowell, to begin the regular season.[38] He replaced Terrance West after West showed up to training camp overweight and was released as part of final roster cuts.

He made his professional regular season debut and first career start in the Cleveland Browns' season-opener at the New York Jets and had seven carries for 22-yards in their 31–10 loss.[39] On October 4, 2015, Johnson had eight carries for 31-yards and recorded a season-high nine receptions for 85-yards and scored his first career touchdown during a 30–27 loss at the San Diego Chargers in Week 4.[40] Johnson scored his first career touchdown on a 34-yard pass by quarterback Josh McCown in the second quarter.[41] In Week 14, he had a season-high 13 carries for 78 rushing yards in the Browns' 24–10 win against the San Francisco 49ers. He finished his rookie season in 2015 with 104 carries for 379 rushing yards and 61 receptions for 534 receiving yards and two touchdowns in 16 games and seven starts.[42] Johnson's 61 receptions are the second-most by a Browns rookie, tied with wide receiver Greg Little.[43] Among rookies, Johnson ranked first in receptions and receiving yards among rookie running backs and second in receptions overall, just under Oakland Raiders' Amari Cooper.[44] Johnson was ranked sixth overall among rookies in receiving yards and was one of six rookies to surpass 500 yards receiving.[45]


On January 4, 2016, the Cleveland Browns fired head coach Mike Pettine and general manager Ray Farmer after the Browns finished with a 3–13 record in 2015.[46] During training camp, Johnson competed to be the starting running back against Isaiah Crowell. Head coach Hue Jackson officially named Johnson the backup running back, behind Isaiah Crowell, to start the regular season in 2016.[47]

In Week 3, Johnson had a season-high ten carries for 69-yards and also caught five passes for 12-yards during a 30–24 loss at the Miami Dolphins. On October 16, 2016, Johnson had four carries for 18-yards and four receptions for 56-yards while also scoring his first rushing touchdown during a 28–26 loss at the Tennessee Titans in Week 6. Johnson scored his first rushing touchdown on a one-yard run in the fourth quarter.[48] On October 30, 2016, Johnson caught six passes for a season-high 87-yards and had four carries for 29 rushing yards as the Browns lost 31–28 against the New York Jets in Week 8.[49] Johnson finished the 2016 season with 73 carries for 358 rushing yards (4.9 YPC) and a touchdown and 53 receptions for 514 receiving yards in 16 games and one start.[50] Johnson served as a punt returner in 2016 and had 17 returns for 112-yards. He also had two fumbles and recorded two solo tackles in special teams.[51]


Johnson remained in the Browns' backfield in the 2017 season. In Week 15, against the Baltimore Ravens, he became the first NFL running back since Herschel Walker in 1986–1988 to record at least 500 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons.[52][53] Overall, he finished the 2017 season with 348 rushing yards, four rushing touchdowns, 74 receptions, 693 receiving yards, and three receiving touchdowns.[54]


On June 7, 2018, the Cleveland Browns signed Johnson to a three-year, $15.61 million contract extension with $7.75 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $3 million.[55][33]

Career statistics[edit]

Season Team Games Rushing Receiving Fumbles
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2015 Cleveland Browns 16 7 104 379 3.6 39 0 61 534 8.8 52 2 1 0
2016 Cleveland Browns 16 1 73 358 4.9 22 1 53 514 9.7 32 0 2 1
2017 Cleveland Browns 16 0 82 348 4.2 19T 4 74 693 9.4 41T 3 4 2
Total 48 8 259 1,085 4.2 39 5 188 1,741 9.3 52 5 7 3


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  2. ^ "Uncharacteristic mistakes doom South Fort Myers in state semis". Naples News. December 10, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Tampa Jefferson wins first state title, beating Miami Norland 44-34 in the Class 3A football final". Orlando Sentinel. December 17, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Miami Norland captures 5A state football title over Crawfordville Wakulla". Orlando Sentinel. December 16, 2011. 
  5. ^ "GMAC Qualifiers - South Qualifier (Raw)". 
  6. ^ "3rd Annual Miramar Invitational - Complete Results (Raw)". 
  7. ^ "FHSAA 3A District 16 - Complete Results (Raw)". 
  8. ^ "Rivals.com". sports.yahoo.com. 
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  10. ^ "Miami (FL) at Virginia Box Score, November 10, 2012". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-04-12. 
  11. ^ "NCAA DIVISION I FOOTBALL Miami(FL)-2012-Duke Johnson-8-RB-FR". web1.ncaa.org. Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
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  13. ^ "Duke Johnson 2012 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-03-04. 
  14. ^ Navarro, Manny (2013-11-03). "Duke Johnson out for the season with broken ankle source says | Eye on the U". Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  15. ^ Degnan, Susan Miller. "Florida State sinks Miami Hurricanes behind dominant second half". miamiherald. Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
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  17. ^ Cabrera Chirinos, Christy (2014-11-30). "Duke Johnson becomes UM all-time leading rusher". Sun-Sentinel.com. Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
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  22. ^ "Hurricanes pro day, and which NFL personnel attended". caneswatch.blog.palmbeachpost.com. April 2, 2015. Retrieved August 11, 2018. 
  23. ^ Boston, Freddie. "The Dirty Bird Daily: Falcons workout Duke Johnson". bloggingdirty.com. Retrieved August 11, 2018. 
  24. ^ "*Duke Johnson, DS #4 RB, Miami". draftscout.com. Retrieved August 11, 2018. 
  25. ^ Davis, Charles (April 1, 2015). "2015 NFL draft rankings by position". NFL.com. Retrieved August 11, 2018. 
  26. ^ Mayock, Mike (April 28, 2015). "Mike Mayock's 2015 NFL Draft Position Rankings 5.0". NFL.com. Retrieved August 11, 2018. 
  27. ^ "SI's Top 64 Prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft". si.com. April 24, 2015. Retrieved August 11, 2018. 
  28. ^ "ESPN.com: NFL Draft Profile: Duke Johnson". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 11, 2018. 
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  31. ^ "2015 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-03-04. 
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  33. ^ a b {{cite web |title=Spotrac.com: Duke Johnson contract |url=https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/cleveland-browns/duke-johnson-16801/ |accessdate=August 11, 2018 |website=Spotrac.com}]
  34. ^ Cabot, Mary Kay (August 1, 2015). "Browns RBs Duke Johnson and Terrance West could miss a little time with hamstring and calf injuries". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved August 11, 2015. 
  35. ^ Cabot, Mary Kay (August 11, 2015). "Browns' Terrelle Pryor, Dwayne Bowe and Duke Johnson all ruled out of Redskins game with hamstrings". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved August 11, 2015. 
  36. ^ Gribble, Andrew (August 30, 2015). "Browns have more to learn about RBs in final week of preseason". ClevelandBrowns.com. 
  37. ^ "Browns RB Duke Johnson almost quit football, but armed himself with a reason to be great". Cleveland.com. July 10, 2015. Retrieved August 11, 2018. 
  38. ^ "Ourlads.com: Cleveland Browns Depth Chart: 10/01/2015". Ourlads.com. Retrieved August 11, 2018. 
  39. ^ Gribble, Andrew (2015-09-14). "Browns know running game has to be better vs. Titans". Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  40. ^ Murphy, Dan (2015-10-04). "Stats and Facts: Browns vs. Chargers". Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  41. ^ NFL (2015-10-04), Duke Johnson Grabs a 34-Yard TD from McCown | Browns vs. Chargers | NFL, retrieved 2016-11-14 
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  43. ^ "Stats and Facts: Browns vs. Steelers". Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  44. ^ "NFL Stats: Receiving-2015-Regular Season-Rookie-Receptions". www.nfl.com. Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  45. ^ "NFL Stats: Receiving-2015-Regular Season-Rookie-Receiving Yards". www.nfl.com. Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  46. ^ "Browns fire Mike Pettine, Ray Farmer". ESPN.com. January 4, 2016. Retrieved August 11, 2018. 
  47. ^ Pokorny, Chris (August 29, 2016). "Cleveland Browns release updated depth chart after cuts". dawgsbynature.com. Retrieved August 11, 2018. 
  48. ^ "Duke Johnson rushes up the middle for 1-yard TD". Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  49. ^ "Browns' Duke Johnson: Hauls in six catches Sunday". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  50. ^ "Duke Johnson 2016 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-03-04. 
  51. ^ "NFL Player stats: Duke Johnson (career)". NFL.com. Retrieved August 11, 2018. 
  52. ^ Gribble, Andrew (December 17, 2017). "By the Numbers: Field position, turnovers hamper Browns offense". clevelandbrowns.com. Retrieved December 17, 2017. 
  53. ^ "Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns - December 17th, 2017". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-03-04. 
  54. ^ "Duke Johnson 2017 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-03-04. 
  55. ^ Wesseling, Chris (June 7, 2018). "Duke Johnson, Browns agree to 3-year, $15.6M deal". NFL.com. 

External links[edit]