It’s a match made in heaven. If the Cardinals didn’t have offensive line concerns, DJ would have zero downsides going into 2019.
NFL.com’s Graham Barfield has pointed out that one of the best ways to combat a poor offensive line is to target RBs on early downs. Kingsbury’s Texas Tech targeted a RB out of the backfield on first down at the 6th highest rate in the FBS, and the 5th highest rate on early downs. Overall, their RBs were 10th in all of college football in receptions in Kingsbury’s last three seasons. He had four different RBs rank in the top 30 in receptions, and with DJ’s skillset, the combination of usage and talent has a chance of exceeding expectations.
According to Bleacher Report and FanSided’s film expert Ian Wharton, Kyler Murray has shown to be in the top tier of accuracy when throwing the ball between 0 and 10 yards out of the last 64 drafted QBs in the NFL, so DJ shouldn’t have an issue with Murray as his QB.
As a matter of fact, a mobile QB in a spread offense is going to help open running lanes for David Johnson. Not only will teams be in nickel and dime a ton, but they might have to reserve a spy at the LB position; that’s one less LB focusing on the backfield.
With DJ only lining up as a WR a mind-boggling 7% of the time last year after getting 18% and 20% of snaps as a WR in his two healthy seasons, it shows how much he was underutilized in the passing game last year. He still had 50 receptions, and still finished as a fantasy RB1.
On an offense that plans to lead the league in offensive plays run per game, there will be a plethora of opportunity. On an offense that will have 3 or 4 WRs on the field on most plays, stacked boxes will be non-existent. He’s going to back to what he was used to in college – playing primarily out of shotgun with a rushing QB. It seems like he’ll be in his comfort zone.
Are you taking David Johnson before any WR in 2019?