Cam Johnson, DE, Virginia
6-foot-3, 268 pounds
Draft projection: Second or third round
Lowdown: Johnson is a late-bloomer who looks like his best football is ahead of him after spending only the past two years at the defensive end position. He starred at receiver and defensive back in high school. He said he had an offer to play receiver at Pitt. He had basketball scholarship offers from George Mason and George Washington. He was recruited to Virginia to play safety or outside linebacker. He spent two seasons at outside ‘backer in Al Groh’s 3-4 defense, starting 16 games over his freshman and sophomore seasons. Then he switched to strong-side defensive end. He had 6.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss as a junior and four sacks with 11 tackles as a senior. He’s still growing into his body. His explosiveness was shown at the NFL Scouting Combine. He had a 35-inch vertical jump, best among defensive ends this year. He ran 4.38 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle, top 15 at his position. He has long arms (33.5 inches). He’s probably a bit too stiff to play outside linebacker in the pros, but he has plenty of size for defensive end. Will he be able to raw talent into production as a pro? Johnson is the kind of edge rusher the Buffalo Bills might like if he's there at the right spot in the draft.
Asked if he was pleased with his senior year, Johnson said: “Personally, no. I expected to be more effective statistically. But I was plagued by a leg injury that hindered my play a little. I’m feeling better and hoping to be more productive.”
He looked good at the Senior Bowl: “That’s what I’ve been hearing. I just played as best as I could, and I just wanted to show that I could compete with some of the best players. And I felt like I did that.”