Kerryon Johnson
refer to caption
Johnson in 2018
No. 33 – Detroit Lions
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1997-06-30) June 30, 1997 (age 22)
Huntsville, Alabama
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:211 lb (96 kg)
Career information
High school:Academy (Madison, Alabama)
NFL Draft:2018 / Round: 2 / Pick: 43
Career history
* Detroit Lions ( 2018–present)
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
* USA Today All-American (2014)
  • Mr. Football State of Alabama
  • SEC Player of the Year (2017)
  • First-team All-SEC (2017)
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Rushing attempts:118
Rushing yards:641
Rushing touchdowns:3
Receiving yards:213
Receiving touchdowns:1
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Kerryon Johnson (born June 30, 1997) is an American football running back for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Auburn, and was drafted by the Lions in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Early yearsEdit

Johnson attended Madison Academy in Madison, Alabama. While there, he played on the Mustangs high school football team. As a senior, he rushed 1,659 yards with 25 touchdowns.[1] He committed to Auburn University to play college football.[2][3] Johnson had offers from Auburn, Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, LSU, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and USC. He ultimately chose to attend Auburn.[4]

College careerEdit

As a freshman at Auburn in 2015, Johnson was a backup to future NFL starter Peyton Barber and Jovon Robinson, and never reached 10 rushes or 40 rushing yards in a game, though he was used occasionally as a kick returner and reached 161 all-purpose yards against Kentucky.[5] On the year, he rushed 208 yards on 52 carries with three touchdowns.[6] As a sophomore in 2016, he began the season starting six games, before becoming the backup to Kamryn Pettway, recording 895 rushing yards on 182 carries and 11 touchdowns.[7] He had six touchdowns and 512 rushing yards through his first five games, averaged eight carries for 33 yards and one touchdown through the next three as a backup, returned to form with games of 99 and 108 yards and a touchdown each in relief, before ending the season with a 39-yard game against #1 Alabama in the Iron Bowl, and a 33-yard game in the Sugar Bowl loss to Oklahoma, though he did throw for a touchdown in the contest.[5]

As a junior in 2017, Johnson became the Tigers' dominant rusher, with almost three times as many carries as any other player on the team. He rushed for over 100 yards in ten of the team's twelve regular season contests, including 204 yards and three touchdowns against Ole Miss,[8] 233 yards-from-scrimmage and a touchdown in a win over #2 Georgia,[9] and 104 yards with both a rushing and a passing touchdown in a signature victory over #1 Alabama in the regular season finale. However, the #4 Tigers lost the SEC Championship in a rematch with Georgia, where Johnson was limited to 44 yards.[10] In the subsequent Peach Bowl, Johnson had 71 rushing yards and a touchdown in the loss to #10 Central Florida. On the season, he recorded 1,391 yards (sixth best season in school history) on 285 carries for 18 rushing touchdowns (third) and 20 total touchdowns, leading the SEC in all four categories.[11] He ended his career at Auburn with 2,494 career rushing yards (11th in school history), 32 rushing touchdowns (tied for fourth).[12]

Collegiate statisticsEdit

Kerryon Johnson Rushing Receiving
Year Team G Rush Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD
2015 Auburn 12 52 208 4.0 3 14 159 11.4 0
2016 Auburn 12 182 895 4.9 11 17 125 7.4 0
2017 Auburn 12 285 1,391 4.9 18 24 194 8.1 2
Career 36 519 2,494 4.8 32 55 478 8.7 2

Professional careerEdit

On January 2, 2018, Johnson announced that he would forgo his senior year and enter the 2018 NFL Draft.[13]

He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft.[14] He was the sixth running back to be selected that year.[15] The Detroit Sports Media association awarded Johnson its 2019 Lions-DSM Rookie of the Year Award.

Pre-draft measureables
Ht WtArm lengthHand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
5 ft 11½ in 213 lb32½ in9¾ in 4.52 s 1.63 s 2.66 s 4.29 s 7.07 s 40 in 10 ft 6 in 11 reps

Johnson made his NFL debut in the season opener against the New York Jets on Monday Night Football. In the 48–17 loss, he had five carries for 17 yards and three receptions for 20 yards.[16] In a 26–10 Sunday Night Football victory over the New England Patriots in Week 3, Johnson rushed for 101 yards, becoming the first Lions' player since Reggie Bush in 2013 to rush for more than 100 yards.[17] The performance won him the starting role over LeGarrette Blount, which he used to score his first NFL touchdown the following week against the Dallas Cowboys though he was limited to just nine carries.[18] He added 70 yards against the Green Bay Packers before the Week 6 bye.[19] In Week 7 against the Miami Dolphins, Johnson rushed for 158 yards on 19 carries with an additional 21 yards on two catches in a 32–21 victory. Nearly half of his rushing yards came on a 71-yard carry early in the game.[20] He was second-youngest Lions' player to reach 150 yards rushing by just three days to Barry Sanders, and the first Lions' player of any age since Jahvid Best in 2011.[21] He expanded his role in the passing game with career bests of six receptions for 69 yards in Week 8, and after just 43 yards-from-scrimmage in Week 9, notched both a rushing and his first career receiving touchdown in Week 10 loss to the Chicago Bears.[22] In the Week 11 win over the Carolina Panthers, Johnson had 87 yards a touchdown before spraining his left knee in the third quarter and missed the next four games. He was placed on injured reserve on December 19, 2018.[23] [24]

Career statisticsEdit

Season Team Games Rushing Receiving Fumbles
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2018 Detroit Lions 10 7 118 641 5.4 71 3 32 213 6.7 24 1 1 1
Total 10 7 118 641 5.4 71 3 32 213 6.7 24 1 1 1


  1. Boyette, Daniel (January 11, 2015). "Why Auburn commit Kerryon Johnson should win Mr. Football". Huntsville, Alabama: (Alabama Media Group).
  2. Hamilton, Gerry (April 15, 2014). "Scout's take: Kerryon Johnson to Auburn". ESPN.
  3. Black, Ryan (July 31, 2014). "Auburn football: 2015 commit Kerryon Johnson takes realist perspective, undaunted by Tigers' RB depth". Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, Georgia).
  4. "Kerryon Johnson Recruit Interests".
  5. 5.0 5.1 College game log, from
  6. Green, Tom (August 4, 2016). "Kerryon Johnson ready to be Auburn's No. 1 running back: 'This is who he is'". Alabama Media Group.
  7. Vitale, Josh (August 5, 2017). "Kerryon Johnson says Auburn will 'definitely' have two 1,000-yard rushers this season". Dothan Eagle (Dothan, Alabama).
  8. "Ole Miss at Auburn Box Score, October 7, 2017".
  9. "Georgia at Auburn Box Score, November 11, 2017".
  10. "Georgia vs Auburn Box Score, December 2, 2017".
  11. "Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson to enter NFL draft". USA TODAY. Associated Press.
  12. "2018 Auburn Football Media Guide". Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  13. "Auburn RB Kerryon Johnson to enter the 2018 NFL draft". January 2, 2018.
  14. Birkett, Dave (April 27, 2018). "Detroit Lions trade up with Patriots, select RB Kerryon Johnson". Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  15. "2018 NFL Draft Listing".
  16. "Lions' Kerryon Johnson: Leads Lions in carries".
  17. Patra, Kevin (September 24, 2018). "Kerryon Johnson ends Lions' 100-yard rushing drought".
  18. "Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys – September 30th, 2018".
  19. Monarrez, Carlos. "Detroit Lions' Kerryon Johnson on injury: I could have returned" (in en).
  20. Wine, Steven (October 22, 2018). "Johnson's 158 yards rushing help Lions beat Dolphins 32–21". AP News.
  21. "DET, single game, rushing yards".
  22. Schlitt, Erik (November 11, 2018). "Watch: Kerryon Johnson leaps the pile for the touchdown" (in en).
  23. "Lions place RB Kerryon Johnson on Reserve/Injured and activate CB Jamal Agnew". December 19, 2018.
  24. "Kerryon Johnson 2018 Game Log" (in en).

External linksEdit

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