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Jaguars vs. Giants: What does Storm Johnson need to show us?

Time is starting to run out for some Jaguars to show what they've got before mandatory preseason cuts. What does Storm Johnson need to do Saturday night to make this roster?

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars backfield has been one of the bigger topics of discussion ever since T.J. Yeldon was selected in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

With Yeldon, as well as Denard Robinson, Toby Gerhart, Bernard Pierce, and even undrafted free agent Corey Grant in the backfield, the Jaguars rushing game looks to be on the rise. But everyone seems to be forgetting about one last member of the backfield...

Storm Johnson.

However, there aren't too many reasons to remember him in the first place.

Johnson was drafted in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of UCF, the same school as Blake Bortles. You'd certainly think that after playing at UCF for two years together that they would connect well with the chemistry they built.


As Bortles looks to be developing into a franchise QB (it's not too early to say that, right?) Johnson seems to be going in the other direction. He's a long-shot to make the roster. In his rookie campaign, Johnson flashed when he was thrown into a few games due to injuries, but when he started in place of Robinson and Gerhart, he failed to impress and ended the season banged up due to injuries.

Johnson finished the season with just 86 yards and 2.9 yards per carry. Yes, he had two touchdowns, but they were short-yardage carries. Considering his limited playing time, he needed more yardage for the amount of carries he had.

If Johnson wants to make the roster this year, he needs to boost his yards per carry, and become more productive running inside. After a disappointing showing in the first preseason game, where Johnson ran the ball seven times for 16 yards, averaging 2.3 yards per carry. He needs to take a big step and improve on his yards per carry during the rest of the preseason.

While playing at UCF, Johnson was effective running both outside and between the tackles, but with his body size (6'0', 216 lbs), he fits as an inside-back in the NFL. For Johnson to find more success running inside, he needs to learn to find holes in the offensive line. With a revamped offensive line that the Jaguars have put together, Johnson should have no reason to not find easy holes to run through between the tackles.

If Johnson can learn how to find holes that the offensive line creates, he should be able to show talent and burst through the holes to find open field. Finding the open field through the holes could be considered a translation from how he was an outside, open field RB at UCF, because when he does find open field, the Storm is hard to track.

You should see Storm Johnson's yards per carry improve greatly if these factors add up in his game. If they don't, then Johnson may not be dressing up for the Jaguars this season.

In fact, with the Buffalo Bills looking to bolster their running game, they could even look to trade a late-round draft pick for the bubble player.

These next few weeks of preseason games, as well as training camp, might be his last chances to make a good impression on the coaches. And with such a packed position group, he certainly has an uphill battle that he must fight if he wants to be a Jaguar in 2015.