Draft Prospect: Gary Johnson, LB/SS, Texas

| April 24th, 2019

I watch college football. Sometimes I see a guy who makes me go, “Oh he’s interesting.” I make a note in my phone. I share those fellas with you. Make sense?



From Lance Zierlein at NFL.com:


Active inside linebacker with plenty of passion and aggression but a fundamental lack of NFL-caliber movement skills in space. Johnson is capable of handling downhill duties between the tackles but could struggle to match up with today’s space-oriented offensive attacks.

  • Active, high-energy player and vocal leader
  • Aggressive demeanor is always on display
  • Key reader with quick response to guard movement
  • Patient to sift through moving bodies and find running back on the other side of it
  • Squares pads downhill to squeeze his run fits
  • Downhill mindset and takes shots in gaps to try and make a play
  • Solid tackle-for-loss total in high-flying conference
  • Core special teams member despite being full-time starter
  • Marginal athlete with segmented, heavy movements in space
  • Short-strider lacking desired sideline-to-sideline range
  • Struggles to access desired lateral burst in his flow to the ball
  • Allows climbing guards to get into him first
  • Inconsistent playing off of blocks
  • Comes in hot and lacking body control as an open-field tackler
  • Could struggle to cover if matched up in space

My Two Cents

  • Bears may be looking for help at both middle linebacker and beside Eddie Jackson at safety after the coming season. Johnson could conceivably get a look at both spots – though he’s probably not athletic enough to start at either. He’s more likely a special teams guy.
  • When I watch Johnson I see a kid who will find a way to be productive on an NFL roster. He’s not going to be a star but the Bears aren’t likely finding stars with their draft positions.

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