Coming into this year’s draft, one obvious need for the Browns was defensively playmakers. After a few head-scratching moves in a row, the team might have finally worked on that need with the pick of ILB James-Michael Johnson in the late fourth round.
Johnson, a long-time durable starter from Nevada, who previously was on the strong side, was a two-time team captain and is rated as having above average range and take-on skills, according to ESPN. He is rated as the No. 122 player overall on ESPN’s Big Board, meaning the Browns actually weren’t too far off on this one based on initial expectations.
Last season, Johnson had 100 tackles, including seven for loss and two sacks. He has long arms with good upper strength (23 reps of 225 at the combine) with above average closing speed (he clocked in with a 4.6 40 time). He’s rated as being average at tackling, instincts and third-down capabilities. He’s likely going to be a backup to D’Qwell Jackson and an immediate contributor on special teams.
As a reminder, this was one of the picks acquired from the Denver Broncos yesterday. The Browns acquired the No. 87 pick (DT John Hughes) and this pick from Denver for the No. 67 selection (RB Ronnie Hillman).
The next pick for the Browns is the 25th selection in the fifth round, also previously acquired from Denver. We’ll see you in an hour or so folks, barring anything new.
[Related: Pick #100: Browns Select WR Travis Benjamin]