Name: Anthony Johnson
Position: Defensive Tackle
Weight: 294 lbs.
Stats: 35 tackles, 3 sacks
Projected Round: 2-3
The first game I want to start with is LSU vs. Mississippi State. In this game, Anthony Johnson had 5 tackles and 1 sack. Sorry, this is a little annoying, but there is a famous MMA fighter named Anthony Johnson and the Blog thing doesn't filter as well as youtube. So, I'm probably going to have to just rely on links.
I think he shows solid speed, good quickness, and an okay burst. I don't think he can shows enough burst to be an elite level pass rusher. He seems to be a really heads up player. For instance, the QB in this game is very mobile. Sometimes the DE collapses in too far, leaving a huge running lane on the edge. Anthony Johnson recognizes this, after engaging with blockers, and proceeds to roll out to the edge to cut off that lane. He also seems to hold his position in the running game.
I don't think he does a great job rushing the passer. His speed and quickness should allow him to be a good pass rusher, but he just seems to be missing that first step, strength, or that secondary move. At this point, I'm not sure what it is. However, even if he beats his lineman out of the gate, the lineman can recover and still fight him off. That said, I do think it looks like there is a lot of potential to work with.
A very quick note, Ego Furgeson is also a very highly rated DT. In this game, I think he looks like he could be a great 1 technique for the Bears. He has the size, at almost 310 pounds, and he looks to have a good burst, good quickness, and the ability to take on two blockers at once. I think he looks like a very good 1 technique at this point.
The next game I'm going to look at is LSU versus Auburn from 2012.
In this game, Johnson does a great job of consistently taking on double teams. He is able to maintain his area in the run game. He looks strong, quick, athletic, and fast for a defensive tackle. Again, he shows okay burst, and an ability to put some pressure on the QB. He also shows solid awareness, he seems to have an instinct for the location of the ball.
However, I think he needs to work on alternate moves and his use of hands. Again, he can beat the offensive lineman off the line, but once engaged he seems to lose the ability to penetrate. He relies too much on his strength, and it gets him no where. I think that if he could develop some alternate moves he could become a good pass rusher from the DT position.
The final game I'm going to look at is LSU versus Ole Miss from 2012. Again, there wasn't much film because of the MMA fighter, and I couldn't find much on Ego Furgeson either.
To me, it seems like he plays a little too upright on passing downs. He seems to be very passive, making sure the play stays in front of him. That's why he seems to be so good against the run. I think if he played a little more aggressively, his sack numbers would have been good, and you would see a much better burst. However, he could still vastly improve that by getting his pad level lower, and adding more moves. Relying on just his strength isn't going to cut it in the NFL. He needs to develop his hands and some other move as well to really become great.
The one time he used his hands effectively, he shed two blockers and got a sack. He seems to get very good penetration when the call is a run, but not when it is a pass. He shows good speed, strength, quickness, and burst. I also think he displays very good balance. At one point he continued running towards the ball carrier as he is at an odd angle getting shoved to the ground. If he can improve his moves and pad level I think he could be a very effective pro.
Overall, there is a lot to like with Anthony Johnson, and a lot not to like. Nearly everything that I don't like about him can be fixed. However, he has to want to fix it, and he has to get the right coaches to help him fix it. He displays the intangibles: speed, quickness, burst, balance, strength. However, he needs to do more to become an impact player. He is a guy who has a high ceiling and a low floor. If he doesn't put the effort forward to improve, he'll never improve. If he puts the effort forward but doesn't have the right coaching, he could be a good player. If he gets both the coaching and puts forth the effort, he can be a very good NFL player. I would not be upset if the Bears took him in Rounds 2, 3, or 4. I'd really project him as a third rounder based on the effort he needs to put forth.