What is Duke Johnson's Value in Houston?
Cleveland gave in to Duke Johnson’s trade request on Thursday, shipping him to Houston for 2020 draft pick. The Texans released D’Onta Foreman over the weekend, so Johnson is likely to step in as the No. 2 back behind starter Lamar Miller. Our experts discuss Johnson’s potential in Houston, especially in the passing game.
What is Duke Johnson’s value in Houston?
JoshADHD: Until we know more, he is only a complement to Lamar Miller. Look to the Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny dynamic in Seattle. I am hopeful that Houston releases Miller to fully install Johnson as the feature back, but the realist in me believes that this simply muddies the situation, and we should be happy with any shares of Johnson we acquired in the double-digit rounds prior to the trade.
STLCards: He’s going to have some value in Houston. D’Onta Foreman is gone, and this team has had a revolving door of backs over the last few years attempting to provide some relief for Miller. None have succeeded to this point. We know Johnson’s skillset as a receiving back, and there is no doubt Houston will carve out a nice role for him. He’s not necessarily a great handcuff for Miller owners, but this definitely bumps him up the board a few rounds. His outlook is more clear than it was in Cleveland.
Nathan Coleman: Johnson should at the least form a committee with Miller based on the mid-round trade compensation. The concern is the Texans ranked dead last in RB targets in 2018 and in the bottom six for the least three years. Miller still looms as an obstacle and the return of an emerging Keke Coutee will siphon away targets underneath. A tough schedule will mean more negative game scripts and passing opportunities, so there’s hope Johnson finds enough opportunity to be viable.
JSURab: Johnson gets a bump in value being in Houston. He is still gonna be the backup to Miller but he should take a good amount of the passing-down work. He will be a great check-down option and should also get a few carries as well. Johnson is a talented back who if given the chance could earn even more playing time as the season goes on.
Beermakersfan: Duke takes a huge leap in value with this trade to Houston. People may fail to realize this guy can be more than just a pass catcher, let’s not forget he’s a 210-pound running back. He immediately becomes the best running back on the roster and a serious threat to Miller’s workload. Houston faces one of the most difficult schedules this season and could be playing from behind a bunch, which only adds to the potential upside for Johnson. Don’t be shocked when he steals the starting job away from Miller sooner rather than later.