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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.

3/10/2009

Draft '09: Georgia Tech's Michael Johnson

If you follow the draft closely, you probably know that Georgia Tech's Michael Johnson had a fantastic combine. It was to be expected, of course. The 6-foot-7, 266-pound defensive end is an incredible athlete who's biggest knock is his inconsistency on the field.

Early on this season, he was mentioned as a top-10 pick. Then his production fell and scouts started to nitpick his game and he slid to the second round in most draft projections. Truth is, he plays a premium position, he's the type of athlete teams chances on late in the first round, and he certainly could be in the mix for the Lions at picks 20 or 33.

The Lions were one of the teams at Georgia Tech's pro day Monday, and according to a story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution they clocked Johnson running a 4.49-second 40-yard dash. At the combine Johnson ran a 4.66, and his official time Monday was a 4.59, the paper said.

(Incidentally, Calvin Johnson - no relation to Michael - also took part in Tech's pro day, running routes for quarterbacks. Michael, too, toyed around as a tight end in some drills.)

The Lions don't have their draft board set yet and I don't know where Johnson stands in their eyes, but he's an intriguing possibility for a defense that lacks playmakers. As for the criticism he's drawn since the season, Johnson said he's taken it in stride and is intent on proving people wrong.

"Doing all the different stuff I was asked to do at Georgia Tech, like playing the pass, playing the run, dropping into coverage, zone, man - I did a lot of stuff that traditional defensive ends don't do," Johnson said at the combine. "I think that at times drew criticism because I wasn't doing what the traditional defensive end did. But I'm versatile, I showed that this year and I'll continue to be versatile."

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heck yes!

1a. Curry LB
1b. Johnson DE
2. Laurinaitis LB

Nice draft for da D!

12:15 PM 
Anonymous freebird22 said...

High risk high reward player. IF Johnson could bulk up without losing speed, the team might have something.

However, fast stocky body types like Freeney (and hopefully Avril) tend to do better against the run then tall skinny types who can't hold the point of attack.

Is Johnson Kalimba Edwards II or, even worse, Jarvis Moss/Quentin Moses? Having watched Johnson play, I'd say pass on him.

12:22 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At #33 take the chance Hell play him at TE if need be.

1:52 PM 
Anonymous Steve said...

i dont think so. DE is probably the position of least need on the defense. if you want a lineman we need a DT. we have a lot of capable DE on the roster already, and Cory Redding should probably play DE as well. We need a big strong DT to learn with Grady Jackson

2:10 PM 
Blogger Bret said...

Steve - I counldn't agree more! Redding has shown nothing at DT lately. I think he could be very effective back at DE.

2:59 PM 

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