Cam Johnson

Draft Grades: San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers had a chance to fill some holes in this draft but reached too often and failed to add any instant-impact players. It was a disappointing haul for a team hoping to make another deep playoff run in 2012.

A.J. Jenkins is a talented receiver but was a huge reach in the late 1st round. He put together a solid 2011 season, but has always been inconsistent and had a history of clashing with his coaches at Illinois. Ron Zook openly criticized his attitude on multiple occasions. It will be interesting to see how he gets along with Jim Harbaugh, who isn’t the type to put up with diva receivers.

LaMichael James is a dangerous weapon, but this was too early for a player who projects as a career backup with character and injury concerns. He’ll have to compete with Kendall Hunter and Brandon Jacobs for carries behind Frank Gore, and could legitimately end up as the 4th-string running back.

Joe Looney was a solid value in the 4th round. He’ll have a chance to compete for the starting job at right guard.

Darius Fleming will compete for a backup job at outside linebacker behind Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith.

Trent Robinson could be a steal in the 6th round. He’s a prototypical free safety who could compete for playing time if Dashon Goldson continues to struggle in coverage as he has the past few years.

Jason Slowey is a developmental prospect who will be groomed to potentially replace 33-year-old Jonathan Goodwin in a few years.

I love the selection of Cam Johnson. He’s had a history of injuries which likely led to his fall, but could be one of the better steals of this class. If healthy, he’s a better prospect than Darius Fleming.

The 49ers whiffed with their first two picks. Even if Jenkins develops into a quality receiver, they missed an opportunity to add someone who could make a more immediate impact. But while their early picks were disappointing, they did find some value in the later rounds which could allow them to salvage something from this draft class.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 49ers, Draft Grades - 2012 Leave a comment

Cam Johnson scouting report

Cam Johnson DE Virginia #56
Ht: 6’4″

Wt: 268

 
Strengths:
Decent athlete. Explosive edge rusher. Does a nice job staying low as he explodes off the snap, making it difficult for taller tackles to get a hand on him. Strong fundamentals as a pass rusher; knows to stay active and not allow tackles to get into his chest. Some experience dropping into zone coverage. Has experience playing linebacker in 3-4 and end in 4-3 sets. Scrappy player who will fight through the whistle and has a strong motor. Very reliable wrap-up tackler.
Weaknesses:
Workout numbers don’t really show up on the field; plays slower than he tests. Below-average stop-and-start ability; takes a few steps to gain momentum. Lacks the strength to consistently shed blocks once he’s fully engaged. Limited during combine due to torn pectoral muscle. Fairly serious injury concerns; nothing major, but consistently banged up. Missed time in 2011 with leg injury. Underwent shoulder surgery in 2009 for torn labrum. Missed time with ankle injury in 2008.
Comments:
Johnson has the potential to be an effective pass rusher in either a 3-4 or 4-3 defense. He lacks the elite athleticism or strength to project as a can’t-miss prospect, but he does have starter potential if he refines some of the minor aspects of his game. Talent-wise he’s a 3rd/4th round prospect, but his consistent injuries may cause some teams to drop him further on their board.
Videos:
2011 vs Miami FL
2011 vs Georgia Tech 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 1 Comment