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Grading James Hanna and Matt Johnson

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My two latest faux draft grades are up at NBC. The first is on tight end James Hanna:

At 252 pounds, Hanna ran a 4.49 40-yard dash—a remarkably fast time for a tight end. Compare that to Escobar’s 4.84 40-yard dash. I’ve found that the 40-yard dash isn’t incredibly important for tight ends, but we’d never want someone who is slower if we can have a faster player. Plus, Hanna is so fast for his size that there aren’t a ton of comps out there for him. Good luck finding more than a handful of 250-pound players who run sub-4.5.

In addition, Hanna ran a 4.11 short shuttle—faster than most running backs. He also had a 36-inch vertical, 10-2 broad jump, and 6.76 three-cone drill. In comparison, Escobar had a 4.31 short shuttle, 32-inch vertical, 9-6 broad jump, and 7.07 three-cone drill. Simply put, Hanna is a better athlete in every sense of the word.

Re-Grade: Second Round

The other grade is for safety Matt Johnson:

The Cowboys have an enormous amount of confidence in safety Matt Johnson—so much so that fans have commented on numerous occasions that the team really knows nothing about him. Johnson—a rookie in 2012—has never played a snap in the NFL, yet he’s projected to be the Cowboys’ opening day starter at free safety.

Earlier this week, I broke down safety Barry Church as if he were a rookie and provided him with a fifth-round grade. Today, I’ll do the same for Johnson. Since Johnson has no NFL experience, however, the criteria on which I’m basing my grade are probably similar to those the Cowboys are using in assuming Johnson can play; he’s an athletic, explosive player with good size.

At 6-1, 215 pounds, Johnson is bulkier than the typical free safety. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, assuming Johnson can cover the deep middle. Based on his pre-draft measurables, there’s good reason to believe he can. Johnson ran as fast as a 4.52 40-yard dash at his Pro Day. Pro Day measurables aren’t standardized in the same way that they are for the NFL Scouting Combine, but it’s safe to say that Johnson is a sub-4.60 player. In addition, Johnson also recorded a 10-1 broad jump and 4.07 short shuttle. The latter number in particular is outstanding and shows that Johnson has short-area quickness.

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2 Responses to Grading James Hanna and Matt Johnson

  1. John Coleman says:

    Been a while JB. I’ve been keeping up on brand x with the RTN gig. It seems the Boys have quietly been amassing some physical specimens. As noted Hanna is a freak. The word is that his hands are better than advertised. So big win for us. Now if Johnson can come through then another big win. Bruce Carter looks like another steal, as was Lee if healthy. Add in this years guys like Wilcox and the UDFA LB, Magee , I think. I also like the other safety and the other ILB’s. Reed(I think), is a guy who I think surprises and makes the team. At least the psquad. Frederick, Escobar, Williams, and Randle all were good picks as well. I definitely like the direction we are going. Frederick was a little high, but considering the oline rush early, not a terrible pick. I think Garrett has a much larger presence than most realize. I like him as a head coach and an OC, just not as a play caller.

  2. What’s up John? Agree on Garrett…I think he’s moving the team in the right direction; they’ve been able to bring in athletic, intelligent players who will continue to work to improve. I think he needs to give up play-calling, but I don’t doubt him as a HC.

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