Potential Draft Picks: Micah Johnson, ILB, Kentucky
As we have said before, the Cowboys may be in the market for a young inside linebacker. Bradie James and Keith Brooking performed well last year, but neither are getting any younger. The ‘Boys also have Bobby Carpenter, whose role is limited, and second-year player Jason Williams, whose work ethic has been called into question.
The team certainly wants to find out what it has in Williams, but surely won’t pass up the opportunity to draft someone they deem to be a difference-maker at the position.
Kentucky’s ILB Micah Johnson may be the perfect fit. Unfortunately, Johnson could miss the NFL Combine because of a knee injury. This could be a blessing in disguise for whoever selects him, though, as he figures to provide great value.
Johnson is a physical freak, appearing to have zero body fat. At 6-foot-2, 254 pounds, Johnson has prototypical size to play inside in a 3-4, though he really fits any scheme. He also has the requisite strength to match, and he uses it to effectively take on blocks from much heavier players.
Johnson is a hard-hitter, yet still plays under control. He can sometimes string plays out too long instead of always attacking downhill. Still, he has good sideline-to-sideline ability, even if his 40-time isn’t eye-popping. Micah has the potential to be a three-down player at the next level, a trait the Cowboys sorely need, but only if he can stay healthy.
Because of his knee injury, Johnson could drop as low as the fifth round. If he is able to work out for teams before the Draft, he should rise up boards, perhaps to the back of the third, but more likely the fourth round. Dallas would get great value if they select him there or afterward.