Rookie season expectations for Chicago Bears RB Roschon Johnson

Mikala Compton/American-Statesman / USA

A lot of fans are excited about the Chicago Bears drafting Roschon Johnson, especially because the team can get usage out of him right away. He can play on special teams immediately and will have a role on offense, which is a great bet to make for a fourth-round pick.

Rookie season expectations for Chicago Bears RB Roschon Johnson

However, the fact that Johnson will contribute right away has some fans thinking he will take over the backfield, almost immediately. While Johnson will see his share of work, it is fair to keep realistic expectations for what Johnson can become.

Since 2000 there have been 80 running backs drafted in the fourth round. On average, those backs have carried the ball 70 times for 277 yards and two touchdowns. That is a baseline. Of course, there are a few outliers here, and some of those runners did not even see the field. Beyond that, there are also two players with a lot more yards than the rest of the sample Domanick Williams and Dameon Pierce. When you take away the 200-carry backs, and zero-carry outlier backs, you get 74 carries for 294 yards and two touchdowns.

This shows us pretty clearly that being drafted in the fourth round will not give you a big role. Still, there are heaps and heaps of busts in those 80 picks. Some of the best names to come out of this group include Lamar Miller, Devonta Freeman, Tony Pollard, Rhamondre Stevenson, Marion Barber, Jamaal Williams, Samaje Perine, and Dameon Pierce. What does an average stat line look like if we take away all of the others, and just focus on these names?

This would get us to 127 attempts, for 524 yards, and three touchdowns. Jamaal Williams is about right in the middle with 153 rushes for 556 yards. Given that they are both team leaders, power backs, and pass blockers, a fair comparison would be Jamaal Williams, and this could result in a similar rookie season.

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This feels more in line with a realistic look at what Roschon Johnson could see as a rookie. The range does spread from 250 yards to 939, so Johnson could really end up anywhere in between, and he would still be on the right path to having a successful career. Still, fans should realize that a fourth-round running back almost never comes in and gets 200 carries for 1,000 yards and that about half of that is much more of a realistic outcome for Roschon Johnson.