Jan/29/15 08:48 AM Filed in: Duke Johnson
CBS Sports and ESPN both have Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon as the top running back prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft but another draft guru thinks Miami’s Duke Johnson is the superior pro prospect.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller thinks Duke “should be a top-35 player in this year’s draft,” and shared his scouting observations with Omar Kelly and Channing Crowder on WQAM after watching some intriguing Hurricanes draft prospects practice and play at the Senior Bowl last week.
“I like Duke Johnson more than Melvin Gordon as a pro running back to be honest with you,” Miller said. “He’s gotten bigger every year. He’s not a huge guy but he runs with power. So explosive in the open field. Helps you out as a receiver.
“Everyone wants to compare Melvin Gordon to Jamaal Charles because he wears 25 and he’s got the dreads. I think Duke Johnson is a closer comparison to Jamaal Charles because that agility
and that world-class speed in the open field.”
Although Miller considers this draft weak in talent overall, he noted another Miami Hurricane as a standout at last week’s Senior Bowl in Mobile
“There were some standout guys, though, and Phillip Dorsett at the University of Miami is definitely one of them,” he said. “I thought he had a great practice every day, got better each day throughout the week as we saw him be coached up. Yeah he’s a small guy but he’s explosive in the open field, very good speed coming off the line of scrimmage, good hands over the middle, good hands down the field so he impressed me a lot.”
Also joining Dorsett and Johnson as solid pro prospects from Coral Gables are offensive tackle Ereck Flowers, defensive back Ladarius Gunter, linebacker Denzel
Perryman, and tight end Clive Walford. Under Al Golden those players won just six games last year, which is befuddling for Miller.
“You look at that talent and then you talk to people and it’s like how did this team win only six games because I thought the Miami guys were some of the best
at their position all week [at the Senior Bowl],” Miller said. “I’m not an expert in the college football field but I think you have to point a finger to the head coach, who obviously can recruit but you have to get production out of those athletes.
“I grew up a Texas fan so I can relate to that — a coach who can recruit like none other but then doesn’t do a great job coaching them up — and so you have to wonder if Miami is in a similar situation with Al Golden of you’re going to get four or five-star kids
who end up being better in the NFL than they were in college and that’s kind of what ran Mack Brown out down at Austin.”