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Draft guru Daniel Jeremiah views Kerryon Johnson as 'first-round caliber player'
Daniel Jeremiah:
Daniel Jeremiah: "To me, when you look at fits for (Kerryon Johnson) and where he could potentially go, he can do a little bit of everything." Photo: Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics
April 11, 2018

By Greg Ostendorf

AUBURN, Ala. -- While watching Auburn's 26-14 win over Alabama in the Iron Bowl this past season, NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah heaped plenty of praise on Kerryon Johnson. He even tweeted out that the Auburn running back is a "first-round talent."

In his scouting report after that game, Jeremiah compared Johnson to Le'Veon Bell and said he was one of the four best college running backs he had seen to that point in the season.

Four months later, Jeremiah is sticking to his initial projection for Johnson -- though he's not optimistic that the Auburn star will actually be selected in the first round simply because of the number of quality players in this year's draft class.

"He's a really, really good player," Jeremiah said Wednesday on a conference call. "Right now, I have him just outside my top 50. Really, that's kind of a testament to just the overall depth of this class. I think he is a first-round caliber player that's going to go in the second round."

So if Johnson does fall to the second round, which team presents the best fit for him?

"To me, when you look at fits for him and where he could potentially go, he can do a little bit of everything," Jeremiah said. "When you look at the short-area quickness he has, the way he holds up in pass protection -- you can use him in the passing game and the screen game a little bit. So there are a lot of options for him outside the first round. I don't think he lands in there.

"I'd keep an eye on the Giants as a team. If they don't get Saquon Barkley in the first round, Kerryon Johnson could be a nice fallback for them as a good fit there."

Johnson declared early for the NFL draft after a season in which he led the SEC with 1,391 yards rushing and 20 total touchdowns despite missing two games early. He was named the league's Offensive Player of the Year and was also a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award.

The NFL draft begins Thursday, April 26 with the first round.

Greg Ostendorf is a Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter:



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