Drew Boylhart   4/09

Gartrell Johnson   RB   Colorado         

 

STRENGTHS

Gartrell is a power back with excellent agility and vision.  He runs with a purpose and is the type of back that will take over the fourth quarter for you and seal the game.  He gets stronger as the game goes on and is the type of back that needs to carry the ball 20 to 30 times a game to be effective.  Gartrell is very smart and reads the blitz better than most QB's coming out of college.  He is excellent at blocking a blitzing LB.  He has very good hands out of the backfield to go along with his on-field leadership.  Gartrell knows how to set up his blocks and shows good vision in the hole.  He cuts with balance and power; he will run through a lot of arm tackles.  Gartrell is one of the better all around complete backs in this draft.  He will be a core player and fan favorite and very possibly a franchise back for the team that drafts him.     

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

The one skill Gartrell does not have is pure break away speed; however, he does have quickness.  Most teams will downgrade Gartrell because of a lack of pure speed, but Gartrell runs with such power and quickness that I don't believe this is an issue.  It is an issue for those who feel that the ability to take it to the house on every play from the line of scrimmage is the most important attribute a running back can have.  I don't believe that myself.    

  

TALENT BOARD ROUND 1

Remember, I do not have to worry about the round in which Gartrell will be drafted.  I know he will not be drafted until the 3rd, 4th, or even the 5th round, but after you draft Gartrell, he will become a featured back in your offensive system.  He runs with the same style as Marion Barber III (RB Cowboys), but he is smarter and more of a complete back.  Gartrell is a MLB's nightmare. He will run all day at the MLB and wear him down so that in the fourth quarter tackling Gartrell becomes a  big problem.  That is when Gartrell will take over a game and start breaking longer runs from scrimmage.  This kid is a winner and is a team player.  He runs and plays with excellent pride and understands his role in the offense. Draft him and your running game will become very productive very quickly.  I call him Gartrell (Fed Ex) Johnson because Gartrell is the type of back that will have to give you the bulk rate (30 carries a game) to be really effective in your offense.