Johnny Johnson – RB (1990)
It’s hard to believe that 22 years have passed since the “Phoenix” Cardinals acquired Johnny Johnson, a speedy running back out of San Jose State University. The 169th-overall selection turned out to be a featured offensive component, registering three productive campaigns for the “Big Red” scoring attack.
As a rookie in 1990, Johnson earned Pro Bowl honors, tallying 1,167 yards from scrimmage and five rushing touchdowns in 14 starts. A year later, Johnson racked up 891 total yards (666 on the ground) and six scores in 15 appearances (13 starts) for the Cards.
Johnson managed to leapfrog another first-year ball-carrier (Anthony Thompson) for playing time in 1990, despite the fact that Thompson was drafted 138 picks earlier in the second round. The franchise ultimately traded Johnson to the New York Jets during the 1993 NFL Draft, a deal that paved the way for the Cardinals to grab Garrison Hearst with their opening-round pick.