Prospecting for Gold: Cam Johnson, DE

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Defensive lineman Cam Johnson of Virginia participates in a drill during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)


Here is another look at another prospect who would fit a need that the Bears have. While it's looking more and more likely that the Bears will take a defensive lineman in the first round, however nothing is set and stone and most are in agreement that there are any of several directions that the Bears could go. So if they take an offensive lineman or a defensive tackle or some other position, they could, possibly, look for an end in a later round. Cam Johnson might just fit that scenario in round three.

Johnson is a 6'3" 268 lbs DE out of Virginia. At the Combine he posted a positional high in the vertical jump with 35 inches.

Now to his scouting report, from CBSsports:

Strengths: Tremendous explosion, accelerates low with power. Relentless blindside pursuit, tracks down ball carriers on the other side of the field. Fast in a straight line. Excellent wide and bull rushes when quick off the snap. Strong tackler. Has good power in hands and can anchor, shed, and chase.

Weaknesses: Is slightly high cut and somewhat stiff in the hips, likely too stiff for 3-4 OLB consideration. Doesn't change directions well. Can be late off the snap. Has a history of serious injuries, including knee and pectoral. Needs more pass rush moves beyond wide and bull.

And then from National Football Post:

A solid, well put together lineman with a strong looking lower half and natural length for the position. He does a solid job coiling up into his stance vs. the pass game, keeping his base under him, back flat and a good -not-great- initial first step. He displays the ability to at least threaten the edge on his pass rush, but he's a little tight struggles to really drop his pad level around the edge. He will get upright and can easily be pushed past the play. Exhibits the ability initially to keep his pad level down, extend his arms and can be physical through contact when asked to fend his way off blocks. Can work the bull rush through, gain leverage and run his legs through contact into the quarterback. Exhibits a good motor. Showcased more of a counter at the Senior Bowl than I saw throughout on tape. Is a more sudden lateral athlete than given credit for, which could really open up his pass rushing arsenal if he continue to improve.

Or, to sum it up from the NFP:

A solid college defensive end who has never been much of a sack artist but there are some tools there. Showcases some fluidity in his drop and in coverage and has the ability to mature into a more sudden pass rusher. Will get looks in both a 34 and 43 front.

So he generally has a solid third round grade on him, mostly due to the injury concerns and lack of sack stats from Virginia. The NFL.com Combine scouting report mentions concerns about him taking plays off, however none of the reports mention this.

Overall though he has the tools to be a complete pass-rusher in the NFL and if he can stay healthy, looks to be a promising prospect. Since the Bears have one of the best defensive line coaches in the league in Rod Marinelli, I trust he can get the most out of this guy.

What do you think about this guy in the third or fourth round?

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