Sep 10, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) runs the ball during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
As a rookie third-rounder from Northern Iowa, he burst onto the scene towards the end of the 2015 season for a first-place Cardinals team.
In 2016, he then solidified himself as a top-level talent, fantasy football darling and offensive focal point on a team that took a step back in the standings.
Entering 2017 with a full head of steam, Johnson suffered a season-ending wrist injury in Week 1 after only 46 snaps. The Cardinals went from the fifth-highest scoring offense in the NFC in 2016 (418 points) to the third-lowest in 2017 (295 points).
Let’s take a further look at Johnson’s impact on the Cardinals offense and why you shouldn’t have forgotten about him heading into 2018.
In the modern NFL, running backs derive much of their value from what they provide in the passing game. In Johnson’s breakout 2016 season, he posted a receiving grade of 90.0, a grade that is up there with the likes of what we saw from Alvin Kamara a season ago.