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ESPN: Cardinals’ David Johnson is on the verge of being a top-100 player

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) runs in the open field as he gets past Oakland Raiders' Ben Heeney (50) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 12, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

After ESPN released the newest version of the top 100 players in the NFL, the discussion of who was snubbed had already commenced.

ESPN staff writer Bill Barnwell was on top of revealing not the snubs of 2016, but those who could perhaps slide into next year’s top 100. Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson made the cut.

Johnson finished 190th on the list, but considering he only started five games in his rookie season, 190th isn’t something to overlook.

Sign me up. Johnson was an absolute monster at times as a rookie, terrifying teams (including his own) with big plays early in the year before settling in as an impactful starter later on. In his five season-ending starts, the Northern Iowa product averaged 131 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. Arizona hasn’t exactly been shy about talking him up since, with Cardinals general manager Steve Keim saying Johnson was the best receiving back he had ever seen. The uncommonly honest Cardinals have been wildly optimistic about Johnson’s 2016 all camp long, and unless Chris Johnson takes a bigger share of the workload in his return from injury, David belongs on this list.

After a solid performance in the first preseason game against Oakland in which he had 31 yards on three carries, Johnson is already building off his rookie year success with his eye-opening training camp.

Johnson took the league by storm last season when he scored six touchdowns through his first four career games, which included three scores on the ground, two receiving touchdowns and even a kick return that went the distance on the opening kickoff at Chicago. He had 1,637 all-purpose yards last season with 13 total touchdowns.

With Johnson slated to be the workhorse for the Cardinals this year, the ceiling has been completely ripped off for what he can accomplish.

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