Drew Boylhart   12/08

Michael Johnson   DE   Georgia Tech   

 

STRENGTHS

Michael is a very tall, thin DE.  He has a good burst off the line and does a great job using his hands to fend off players who dive at his legs.  He is very smart and understands exactly when to put his hands up to knock down passes in the passing game.  Do not throw a screen pass to Michael's side of the defense, because it will fail.  He has speed that should be respected; he will run down a screen play from behind or knock the ball down and disrupt the rhythm of that play almost every time you try to use it against him.  Michael looks to be a good team player and plays within the context of the defensive scheme that is being used by his college team.    

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

In my opinion, Michael does not play with enough passion at the college level.  Once Michael is engaged with an offensive lineman, he gives up his pass rush and looks to drop off the line instead of continuing and pressuring the QB into mistakes.  Michael plays like he's worried that he will be injured.     

 

TALENT BOARD ROUND 3

Michael might be too smart for his own good.  The athletic talent to dominate is there, but Michael's play is way too cautious and measured for me to think that he will be anything but a one or two year wonder at the next level depending on the length of his contract.  Right now, I consider Michael a rotation DE who can make plays if he wants to.  He will knock balls down in the passing game, which is a good thing, but with his talent, Michael should be feared by offensive coordinators.  He should be double teamed all the time because he has the athletic talent that should be feared but -- he is not!  Offensive lineman who have NFL level potential at the college level can handle Michael one on one with no help which shows me that Michael does not like contact and will not fight through it.  At the next level, if Michael chooses to fall off the line of scrimmage to put his hands up and knock a ball down he will find himself flat on his back and looking up to the stars to see if his name is somewhere up there far, far away.   Michael plays football like a diva rock star.  I call him Michael (Mariah) Johnson because like Mariah Carey, Michael is a diva with lots of talent who doesn't like to touch or be touched.