DE C.J. JOHNSON, MISSISSIPPI

DE #10 C.J. JOHNSON, MISSISSIPPI

6’2” – 237 lbs. – 4.70e

Has experience rushing the passer out of both two-and-three-point stances on both sides of the defense; could potentially project to either spot at the pro level, but his lack of bulk makes him more likely to interest teams looking for a stand-up rusher in an odd front. Conveniently, did most of his work out of a two-point stance. Solid height and long limbs may convince teams he can add additional bulk at the risk of losing some of the athletic ability which makes him an interesting prospect. Is able to use his arms to prevent defenders from getting into his pads easily. Gets more push with his bull rush than anticipated given his lack of ideal size; generates impressive pop on contact. Mixes in a few different moves, but is generally a speed rusher who rushes deep and attempts to bend back to the quarterback; flashes a strong underarm rip as well as a violent spin. Very flexible. Generally looks smooth changing directions, although initial rush could be a bit shallower in order to prevent quarterbacks from successfully climbing the pocket. Rangy, high-effort player in pursuit, whether versus the run or the pass. Explodes into tackles with more force than would be expected given frame. Has some limited experience in coverage; is capable of carrying backs and tight ends to the next defender in a pattern-matching scheme, but could give up separation if asked to stick with them downfield in strict man coverage. Above-average athlete overall, but doesn’t have elite closing burst. Can be turned and sealed out of the hole in the run game; focus on rushing the passer can be used against him, as tackles allow him into the backfield, abandoning his run fits. Offers little value to teams looking for a two-gap player who can anchor at the line of scrimmage and bring down ballcarriers while otherwise engaged. Much of his production (of which he has only one quality season thus far) has come against right tackles and in second-effort situations. Durability may be a concern after undergoing ankle surgery which caused him to miss all but Mississippi’s four games in 2013; had been durable prior to that, but could magnify concerns that his frame won’t hold up at the next level. Well-suited to the league’s emphasis on playing the pass, as evidenced by the proliferation of sub packages.

Games watched: Mississippi St. (’12), Alabama (’13), Texas (’13)

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