Antonio Johnson   DT   Mississippi St

 

STRENGTHS 

Antonio shows good strength, size and burst to play his position at the next level.  Antonio does a solid job using his hands; has good balance and decent change of direction skills when he bursts through the gap and pressures the QB.  Antonio shows great overall athletic talent to play football and is one of the few DTís in this draft that has the athletic potential to be a true 1-gap, 2-gap DT.  The problem is that on film, he does not show very much passion when playing the game. 

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

Antonio needs to get stronger and develop his mental stamina and strength.  I get the impression that he is not a hard worker and does not like to sweat.   He has talent, but Iím not sure if he has problems with authority figures, if heís lazy or if he has personal problems.  However, I do know one thing -- this kid has a problem with personal motivation.  Maybe there is more to his situation than I know, but thatís what I see on the film -- a kid who is not very motivated. 

 

TALENT BOARD ROUND: 6

I did a search on Antonio and I came up with no suspensions, no injuries, and no off field issues -- to be honest, I donít know what to think of this kid!  All I can tell you is that he has a lot more talent than he shows; he has pretty good technique, but I just donít see any fire in the belly when he plays and unless someone can tap into this kid, Iím not sure what kind of player you are going to get at the next level.  There is nothing to suggest that he is a problem in any way except on film it looks like he is going through the motions.  Then again, if the coaches were happy with his play, then maybe he was doing exactly what the coaches wanted him to do!  Iím not going to solve this riddle, but Iím convinced that I wouldnít draft this kid myself unless in an interview he came up with a really good reason for playing like he was in a coma for the last two years.  His production does not measure up to his talent and there doesnít seem to be a logical reason for that.  Iíll give him a 6th round talent grade because I donít see any off field problems, but this is a kid with first day athletic talent and I personally would love to know why he is throwing it away.  Maybe he is a sleeper or just maybe he doesnít like to play football, but is playing it anyway because he is so big and thatís what people expect of him.  Youíre on your own with this kid, but I think taking him as a rookie free agent after the draft makes a lot of sense to me. 

Drew Boylhart

March/2007