Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dolphins sign undrafted rookie ILB Micah Johnson

The Miami Dolphins moved quickly after rookie linebacker A. J. Edds was lost for the season last night, signing undrafted rookie linebacker Micah Johnson to replace him.

Originally reported by the local media as an unknown linebacker wearing No. 57 in practice Tuesday, the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero was the first to reveal Johnson's identity on twitter.

With the Dolphins' active roster at a full 80 players before Johnson's signing, a move must have been made to make room for him.

However, there is not yet word on if that move is Edds, who suffered a torn ACL Monday, heading to injured reserve, or something else.

Background

Voted Kentucky's Mr. Football as a high-school senior in 2005, Johnson chose to attend the University of Kentucky as one of the top prep linebacker prospects in the nation.

As a true freshman in 2006, Johnson recorded 29 tackles and a forced fumble on his way to SEC All-Freshman honors.

Johnson saw action in 12 games as a sophomore in 20076, totaling 58 tackles and two interceptions, including one against FAU returned 21 yards for a touchdown.

Johnson finished second on the team in tackles as a junior in 2008 with 93 stops, while also adding two sacks and a forced fumble.

During his senior season for the Wildcats in 2009, Johnson recorded a career-high and team-leading 105 tackles and one sack in 13 games.

Undrafted in the 2010 NFL Draft, Johnson signed with the New York Giants on May 7. However, he was waived on June 21 following OTAs.

Analysis

I always get a happy feeling when the Dolphins sign someone I've previously mentioned here on the blog as a potential pick-up, and I'm happy to say Johnson is someone I liked before the draft in Marsh as well as on the third day of the draft in April.

Johnson is a prototypical 3-4 linebacker, lacking in height a bit at just 6-foot-1 but built like a rock at 258 pounds. He benched 225 pounds 31 times at the NFL Scouting Combine in February.

However, Johnson doesn't run too well and his range isn't very good. He's a thumper in the middle, but he's not going to succeed much in pass coverage.

Also, despite being regarded as a potential late-rounder and later being called one of the better undrafted free agents, it's curious to see Johnson fail to even make it to the Giants' camp.

Typically, undrafted rookies released in June well before camp are the most borderline cases of NFL prospects, which doesn't bode well for Johnson.

That being the case, I like the signing and am interested to see what Johnson can do in a system that suits him well.

An extreme long shot to make the Dolphins' roster, Johnson will be limited to special teams early on and will attempt to win a practice squad spot over the likes of J. D. Folsom and Austin Spitler.

As always, check out the updated projected depth chart following these transactions.


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