Chicago Bears 2023 NFL Draft: Draft Grade of running back, Roschon Johnson

Chicago Bears, Roschon Johnson
Chicago Bears, Roschon Johnson / Peter G. Aiken/GettyImages

The Chicago Bears received mixed reviews for their first two days of the draft, but many experts agree that they hit the ball out of the park on day three. The Bears were on the clock to begin Saturday morning, but Ryan Poles moved down before the fourth round began, acquiring another fifth-round selection (165) in the process.

The later rounds tend to be reserved for dart throws, and the Chicago Bears managed to locate a few high-upside ones. The first of which was Roschon Johnson, whom they selected with the 115th selection in the fourth round.

There was a lot of buzz that Roschon Johnson would not make it out of the third round leading up to the draft, so the Bears got a great value getting him midway through the fourth. There is also reason to believe the former four-star recruit would have been more highly regarded if he had not been stuck behind Bijan Robinson at Texas.

Draft grade of Chicago Bears fourth-rounder, Roschon Johnson

The 22-year-old is one of the best power backs in the entire class and regularly displayed the ability to run through arm tackles. While his power is the most impressive aspect of his game, he also has a surprising burst for a player of his size. Johnson will never be someone who can make people miss with his lateral agility, but he has enough speed to make defenses pay with good blocking in front of him.

The 2023 running back class featured a slew of exciting backs, but very few project as three-down backs at the next level. However, Johnson possesses that type of potential. The 219-pounder is one of the best pass-blocking backs in the entire class, and that is a role he could be playing for the Bears as early as Week One. He also displayed the ability to make plays in the passing game, which could quickly allow him to become the leader of the Bears' running back committee.

While his skills on the field are impressive enough, Johnson's character is one of the biggest selling points. He was recognized for his leadership at Texas and was spoken highly of by virtually everyone who encountered him. Character might not be the most vital aspect of a high-quality football player, but it is important to building a winning culture, and Poles confirmed that it is a major factor in the decision-making process.

Johnson's role as Robinson's backup might have hurt his draft stock, but it could be a blessing in disguise for his NFL career. He enters the league with extremely low mileage at a position with a short shelf life, which could allow him to play longer than other backs who got featured on their college offenses.

The Bears may have lost David Montgomery to free agency, but they reloaded at the position with two players who arguably have even more upside in Roschon Johnson and D'Onta Foreman. The latter might be more proven, but Johnson's ability to thrive on third down gives him a better chance to carve out a significant role on offense.

Next. Poles hints at Roschon Johnson's role. dark

The running back position has become devalued over the years, and countless players have vastly outperformed their draft position after falling through the cracks. Time will tell if Johnson will follow a similar career arc, but he fits the mold of the type of player that could do just that. He could quickly prove to be the Bears' best selection and one of the biggest steals of the entire class.

Draft Grade: A