When I was studying David Johnson's tapes at Northern Iowa before the 2015 NFL Draft what jumped out at me is how gifted he is in the open field. What concerned me is that despite his excellent balance and upper body strength, his upright style of running was going to make it difficult for him to endure as a RB in the NFL. What was easy to see is that Johnson's main form of protection from tacklers is his outstanding stiff-arm and the leverage he can gain by fending off tacklers through a combination of stiff-arm strength and uncanny balance. But here's the problem...even at Northern Iowa Johnson was not one to initiate contact, nor was he one to lower his shoulder, so as to protect his legs and so as to make tacklers think twice about trying to take down his 6-1, 224 pound frame. In this sense, Johnson does not use his excellent size to its full advantage. Now that Johnson is marked man, being the nation's #1 fantasy football phenom, he is going to attract a crowd of tacklers whenever he touches the football. We saw how the Lions gang tackled him --- that's what it takes. Gang tackles. But this is what left Johnson in this game so vulnerable. Instead of finishing off his runs by initiating the contact himself he did what he often does which was to to absorb the contact and somehow try to maintain his balance. The first pass he caught over the middle, he got sandwiched and hit from behind, which bent his neck downward and caused his first fumble. On the 24 yard pass play that set up Kerwynn Williams' TD, Johnson got gang tackled and took a helmet to his wrist. It was a nasty collision. On the 3rd quarter fumble that turned the game in totally favor of the Lions, Johnson again did not look to initiate the contact and therefore drive through the tackler and thus he took a hard hit to his right, followed by a sandwich hit to his left, which jarred the ball loose and sent Johnson careening backward to the turf. Catfish made an excellent observation when he noted that it may not have helped Johnson to lose 10 pounds this off-season. Being 10 pounds lighter does not help Johnson's cause as an NFL RB...as a WR, yes. But, not as a RB. Thus, one of two things has to happen moving forward. Johnson has to make changes in his running style, which involve changing his pad level and lowering the shoulder to initiate contact, rather than staying upright and having to absorb the contact. Or, he should be switched to WR. The whole key with Johnson is finding ways to get him the ball in space and he has a better chance to do that at the WR position, from the slot, out of motion and on reverses, than he does being in a 1 RB backfield and being keyed on by every player in the front 7. It would not surprise me in the least if Johnson requests the position change to WR himself. It would do more to help him preserve his career and from a money standpoint good WRs get paid more handsomely than good RBs. A win-win for Johnson. With Larry Fitzgerald on the verge of retirement, moving David Johnson to WR and adding a couple of good RBs, one by free agency and one by the draft, could be a real boon for the Cardinals. The goal remains the same --- get David Johnson the ball in space and let him do his thing. The only difference is moving him around and making him more of an immediate threat at the line of scrimmage and a couple of steps closer to pay dirt.