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Larry Johnson

SELECTED BY HOUSTON , ROUND 1, PICK 27, OVERALL PICK 27
RB | (6-1, 228, 4.6) | Penn State
By Pro Football Weekly

Notes: Father, Larry Sr., is Penn State's DL coach, and his younger brother, Tony, is a wide receiver on the team. Redshirted in 1998. Carried 43 times for 171 yards and a touchdown and caught four passes for 74 yards and a score in '99. Also returned 13 kickoffs for 230 yards. Carried 75-358-3 in 2000 while also catching 9-22-1 and returning 18 kickoffs for 444 yards. Rushed 71-337-2, caught 11-136-2 and returned 17 kickoffs for 454 yards and one touchdown in '01. Was part of a RB-by-committee approach his first three years but emerged as the chairman of the board in '02. Started 12 of 13 games in '02, carrying 271-2,087-20 and catching 41-349-3. Returned 11 kickoffs for 219 yards.

Positives: Good size, speed and production. Patient and uses blockers well. Has some elusiveness. Can break high tackles and make catches while facing the quarterback. Good quickness (both lateral and rear) and good in-line. Good vision, anticipation and use of blockers. Can pick and slide, get wide and redirect. Tough, finishes runs and has great moves. Johnson can see the cutback lanes and cut upfield. Good agility and balance to make first man miss. Very good hands. High character. Top special-teams player who had three blocked punts in his first three years. Versatile halfback who catches the ball well and returns kickoffs. Made great improvement and came on in '02 as a featured back.

Negatives: Gets narrow and a little upright. Struggles breaking low tackles. Not a pile mover. Average blocker who is reluctant to face up. Lacks explosiveness. Has an average lean and at times, dances too much. Not overly aggressive. Struggled against tough competition. Carried 51 times for 212 yards and three touchdowns vs. Iowa, Michigan and Ohio State, but 200-1,800 vs. everyone else. Not a home-run hitter on a consistent basis.

Summary: A solid, durable back with size and deceptive speed who can also return kicks, Johnson benefits from a weak, weak RB class and likely will be a first-round pick.

* Player biographies are provided by Pro Football Weekly.