A lot of talk circulating around here lately has been of Jack Del Rio wanting to upgrade add to the competition at the linebacker position. A general idea has been to bump Durant back outside and get another man from the draft to fill in the middle. Another is to leave Durant in the middle with Smith at Will, and upgrade the Sam spot. No telling what the lineup will be, but the organization has hinted at new faces being brought in, along with all of their trips to pro days looking at linebackers.
Micah Johnson was considered a late bloomer at Kentucky. He was a top recruit who had vast expectations placed on him the instant he took Kentucky's practice field. After two years of struggling, he took off and finished out his career at Kentucky being considered one of the best interior linebackers in the SEC. He projects as a middle backer at the next level, possibly being able to play Sam. Johnson is projected as a fringe late second, most likely early to mid third round prospect; he is in perfect position for the Jags to grab him.
Johnson by the numbers:
- Height: 6'2"
- Weight: 255
- 40 Time: 4.8
- Bench Press: 31 Reps
Video Killed the Scouting Report:
Micah Johnson Highlights 2008 (via bleedblue4life06)(Nice vid, with good tape once viewed from back a few minutes through)(#4)
There aren't many scouting reports on Johnson available, which is puzzling. He was known as one of the best in the SEC and is considered to have good second day value. The ones which I could find are almost as if they watched three plays and wrote the scouting report. A lot of the info is wrong. I scouted him myself below.
Johnson is known as a strong middle linebacker with average instincts. Great build and is heavy. Many shoot down his instincts, but on tape they appear to be fine. Moves well laterally and keeps his shoulders square, and keeps them square when taking on blockers. Plays faster than his timed speed. Not a speed demon sideline to sideline, but he gets there and makes the tackle. Not a thumper, but has enough physicality in the hole. Not as physical as Daryl Smith, but has comparable physicality to Durant. Tackles well when plugging the middle and in the open field. Flies around and finds the ball carrier. Sometimes shows a bad habit of a drag down tackler, especially in the backfield. Not a problem though. Average hips, get stiff at times. Won't be a coverage option at the next level. Gets it done, but wouldn't want him on an island with anybody. Average pass rushing capabilities for a middle backer. Could start early with his strength and ability to find the ball carrier. (This is my opinion after watching tapes on him. Feel free of course to debate after watching the vid.)
I think Johnson would be a great pick in the third because of his potential. Actually can become a starter at the next level. He was highly recruited out of highschool and just started to come into his own the last few seasons. Has a high ceiling and is a good athlete. Could probably start eventually as a rookie and upgrade the position. Would be taken out in nickel situations because of below average coverage ability. If the Jags take Earl Thomas in the first and grab Johnson in the second, the defense imo would dramatically improve in its first season.