Auburn RB Kerryon Johnson to enter NFL draft

Johnson TD gives Auburn the lead (0:37)

Kerryon Johnson runs in for a 4-yard touchdown to give the Tigers the lead over UCF. (0:37)

Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson declared for the NFL draft on Tuesday, forgoing his senior season.

He posted a statement on Twitter:

Johnson, who rushed for 1,391 yards and 18 touchdowns this season, is the seventh-ranked running back in ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper's position rankings.

"I would like to thank KJ for all he has done for our program over the last three years. Kerryon has made this team better both on and off the field with his great character, competitiveness and leadership. He will be very successful at the next level and more importantly in life. We wish KJ nothing but the best," coach Gus Malahn said in a statement.

Johnson also had 24 receptions for 194 yards and two touchdowns this season. He gained 71 yards on 22 rushing attempts in the Tigers' loss to UCF in the Peach Bowl on Monday.

Whether Kamryn Pettway will join Johnson in the draft remains to be seen. Pettway, who led the team in rushing in 2016, missed more than half of the 2017 season dealing with a shoulder injury. He did not travel with the Tigers for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and his status moving forward remains unclear.

Two possible options at the position for Auburn are Kam Martin, who rushed for 453 yards and two touchdowns as Johnson's primary backup, and Devan Barrett, who rushed for 84 yards on 14 carries as a true freshman.

ESPN's Alex Scarborough contributed to this report.