Earlier this year GM John Dorsey traded running back Duke Johnson, Jr. to the Houston Texans for a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NFL college draft. There was a stipulation in the trade that if Johnson played at least 10 games then the pick would escalate to a third-rounder.
Johnson is active for today’s Texans game against the Baltimore Ravens. This automatically bumped the fourth-round pick into a third-round selection as reported by Reuters.
With the Texans, Johnson has been utilized quite a bit and just as he did with the Browns, he is an integral part of their passing game. To date he has 228 yards receiving on 22 receptions with two touchdowns, plus has added 287 yards rushing on 54 carries and a single touchdown. He is also a very good blocker in passing downs for quarterback Deshaun Watson.
The Texans currently are 6-3-0 and in first place in the AFC South Division.
As a veteran player, he expected more playing time this year. When the Browns inked former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt and with Nick Chubb the obvious starter, Johnson requested a trade. Dontrell Hilliard also had a great training camp which made Johnson expendable.
Like Chubb, Johnson (5’9”, 210 pounds) was not a first-round draft pick but was taken in the third-round of the 2015 NFL draft out of Miami. At the time, the offense featured Ben Tate, Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West as their running backs, with Shaun Draughn as backup after earlier trading third overall pick running back Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts.
While with Cleveland from 2015-2018, Johnson had 299 carries for 1,286 yards with 235 receptions for an additional 2,170 yards with a grand total of 13 touchdowns. During his tenure with the Browns he fumbled eight times with only three lost.