DT ANTHONY JOHNSON, LOUISIANA ST.*

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6’3” – 294 lbs. – 4.90e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2011: 12 – 3.0 – 1.0

2012: 30 – 10.0 – 3.0, 2 QBH, 1 PD

OVERVIEW:

Rotated in as a reserve defensive tackle in all fourteen games as a freshman in 2011, then started three of thirteen games as a sophomore in 2012. Stepped into the starting lineup as a junior in 2012.

POSITIVES:

  • Started for one year with the Tigers, but was also an effective rotational player.
  • Overall height and bulk are adequate for a three-technique defensive tackle.
  • Looks to have above-average arm length, gets good extension on his bull rush.
  • Gets off the line of scrimmage in a hurry, pressuring interior linemen with his burst.
  • Exhibits a strong motor, has some range in pursuit and demonstrates active hand use.
  • Can shoot gaps in the run game, making him a reasonable one-gap defender.
  • Anchors better than anticipated; run defense issues are more due to recognition.
  • Draws double team blocks fairly often and is pretty talented at splitting them.
  • Looks good in pursuit and closes well when he gets a clear path to the passer.
  • Has some upside given that he’s started for only one full season with the Tigers.

NEGATIVES:

  • Has only started for one season and didn’t really produce like he was expected to.
  • Probably doesn’t offer much value to teams looking for personnel for a 3-4 front.
  • Will likely be restricted to playing in one-gap defensive schemes at the next level.
  • Plays a little bit high, could do a better job of keeping himself low to win leverage.
  • Awareness in run defense isn’t the most impressive, struggles to locate the ball.
  • Doesn’t create all that much pressure as a pass rusher despite his burst/athleticism.
  • Could be a little more creative when it comes to shedding blocks, needs more moves.
  • Needs some work on his balance, ends up on the ground more often than he should.
  • Tipped the scales at over 330 pounds in 2011, potentially creating weight concerns.

SUMMARY:

Johnson was highly productive as a member of LSU’s defensive tackle rotation as a sophomore in 2011, picking up ten tackles for loss and three sacks, but failed to make the strides he was expected to as a starter in 2013, failing to make a consistent impact. At this point, his biggest concerns are his struggles with leverage and difficulty locating the ball in run defense. However, those issues can be addressed with quality coaching, making him a somewhat-intriguing developmental three-technique given his burst, overall athleticism, and underrated anchor. Something of a boom-or-bust prospect. RD 3

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