Friday, April 20, 2012

NFL Prospect Delano Johnson, DE/LB, Bowie State

Bowie State LB Delano Johnson is the true definition of a NFL draft prospect sleeper. Scouts knew of Johnson, but not many of them went into Bowie State during his senior season to cross check him. Most NFL draft writers/experts did not hear of him until he showed up at the HBCU All-Star Bowl week and first impressed them with his size at  6-4 267-pound frame, while also looking the part. Event though Johnson didn't have experience as a pass rusher as he mostly played OLB in a 4-3 at Bowie State, I put Johnson in the all-star game primarily as a DE because I knew this would help him raise his draft value if he showed scouts that he can rush the passer. After the first practice he should scouts that he is capable of playing either with his hand on the ground or standing up based in the two point stance. Johnson shows enough power at the point of contact and also have a quick enough first step to be a threat off the edge in either stance. As a D-II college football player, scouts wanted to see him play against better competition during the all-star week and he didn't disappoint. Johnson is still a very raw player and needs to learn how to stay low coming out of his stands and to make better use of his hand against lineman. He also needs to add more moves to his pass rush and isn't as natural transitioning when his initial rush is stalled out. However, scouts are very intrigued with his skill set and upside to develop as a pass rusher. Johnson very much looks the part and he possesses good size and offers great growth potential. He will be a heavily coveted priority free agent after the draft and is a developmental prospect that teams will like to stash on the practice squad.