Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New Dolphin - Micah Johnson, ILB

You may recall that in January I posted several Top Ten lists, broken down by position, in preparation for the then upcoming NFL Draft.

In this Top Ten inside linebackers list, I rated Kentucky Wildcat, Micah Johnson, as the 4th best ILB in the draft. I also had him listed on my draft board in the later rounds, when I thought Miami would focus on ILB. They of course went LB crazy and didn't draft Johnson.

Well, today, my draft came a little bit more accurate as the Dolphins signed Johnson to fill the vacant roster spot left by AJ Edds.

Johnson is not very tall (6'1"), and is very thick and densely packed at 260+ lbs. He's not very fast, and of course the scouts all knocked him as being 'stiff in the hips' the famous expert analysis that is applied to almost every linebacker in the NFL that was drafted in the last 5 years. Truth be told, once the Combine and Draft are over, we stop worrying about the tape measure and we suddenly care only about the actual performance on the field. As we should.

Johnson had a massive Junior year at Kentucky and was projected to go in the 2nd round that year but decided to stay in school which of course backfired since he got hurt his Senior year and then tore his MCL in his bowl game finale, which destroyed any chance of him being drafted in the first 5 rounds or so. Then he ran the 40 yard dash, a decision that likely pushed him even further down the scouts' boards.

I don't know why the Giants released him after OTAs, but I do know he's a good football player, in my opinion a significant upgrade over JD Folsom and Austin Spitler if he is in fact healthy and can run on that knee. But anyone who's had a nagging knee injury knows what that's like.

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