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What are some of the industry's leading draftniks saying about Nico Johnson as the draft nears?
Let's take a look:
NFL.com: "A tough-nosed, assignment-sure linebacker, Johnson is a strong run defender who has been overshadowed as a part-time starter on a star-studded Alabama defense. However, his unselfish play has been noticed, and he will likely be a mid-round selection for a 3-4 team in need of a middle linebacker."
Keet Bailey, NFL Soup: "Johnson isn’t going to wow you with speed and play-making ability, but he’s a sure, sound tackler on the field and he doesn’t make a ton of mistakes. He typically plays within the confines of his defense and simply does what is asked of him. His best role would be in the middle of a 3-4 at the next level, where he can freely blitz and help stop the run. If he’s put elsewhere, he’ll likely struggle."
Ryan Alfieri, Bleacher Report: "Johnson's role in the NFL will be virtually the same as it was in college as a two-down run-stopper that will have to leave the field on third downs. Specifically, Johnson will start out as a "Will" linebacker on the weak side of a 3-4 front. His role in the NFL will be limited, but any player who can play on two thirds of a series at a high level has value to an NFL team."
Rob Rang, CBS Sports: "Johnson isn't likely to hear his name called earlier than Day Three. He's not likely to earn a spot in a future Pro Bowl. Teams needing help defending the run, however, will be certain to scout him closely. Big and physical enough to handle the strongside role in the 4-3, as well as shedding blockers as an inside linebacker in the 3-4, he just might this year's most underrated "specialist" of the linebacker pool."