Redskins draft radar: ILB James-Michael Johnson

Redskins draft radar: ILB James-Michael Johnson
April 19, 2012, 10:53 pm
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The Redskins 2012 draft will rise or fall based on the success of their picks in the third and fourth rounds. They are getting their quarterback of the future with their top pick, they traded away their second rounder, and anything you can get from the fifth round on is gravy. Those middle-round picks will be important, especially since the team is without its first-round picks in 2013 and 2014.

Between now and the draft, were going to identify some of the players who the Redskins might target when they come on the clock for those three picks (one in the third and two in the fourth). Today, we look at Nevada inside linebacker James-Michael Johnson. See the bottom of the page for a list of those previously featured.James-Michael Johnson
NevadaHeightWeight: 6-0 18,241 lb40 time: 4.65Best attributes: Durability, leadership
Needs to work on: Tackling, instinctsThe productive Johnson played inside and outside, serving as the Wolf Pack's middle linebacker during his final two seasons. Form tackling is apparently not an issue and Johnsonhas the strength (23 reps at 225 pounds at the Combine) to get away from blockers. Issues crop up in the passing game as his athleticism is ahead of his instincts. However Johnnson's leadership skills and on-field enthusiasm shine through and he could be a special teams ace while he learns the linebacking craft behind London Fletcher and crew. on JohnsonPositives: Tough between-the-tackles defender who shimmies past blockers to fill lanes. Downhill, aggressive run-stuffer with enough strength to stop ballcarriers in the hole. Vocal leader and team captain. Shows some flexibility to loop to the quarterback as a pass rusher. Gets his hands in the passing lanes. Effort is there in coverage. Negatives: Limited vision and is easily fooled by misdirection. Lacks range and lateral agility in coverage. Not often used as a blitzer. Average at best changing direction. Builds to top speed and must take the right line to beat backs to the edge. SummariesPro Football WeeklyA two-time team captain and productive, four-year starter with experience playing inside and outside. Has the versatility to appeal to teams seeking interchangeable linebackers. Has eventual starter potential; could find his way as a special-teams kamikaze. Wes Bunting, National Football PostIs a good athlete who can run, close on the football and play with power in the run game. Needs to play a bit lower in coverage, but overall does everything at a pretty solid NFL level. Is a guy who can win a starting job at the next level. Previously on Redskins draft radar:CB Dwight Bentley C Ben Jones OL Tony Bergstrom RB Robert Turbin RB Bernard Pierce CB Jayron Hosley C Philip Blake OT Zebrie Sanders OL Lucas Nix CB Chase Minnifield ILB Bobby Wagner TE Ladarius GreenBen Standigblogs about the Redskins, Wizards, Hoyas and the D.C. area college basketball scene for CSNwashington. You can reach him by email at bstandig@comcast.netand follow him on Twitter @BenStandig