Scout Report – Clay Johnston

  • Position: Inside Linebacker – Mike
  • College: Baylor Bears
  • Gridiron Guy Position Rank: 7 of 17

Age: 23 | Height: 6’1 | Weight: 227 lbs
NFL Size Comparison: Reuben Foster

LB at a Glance: Intelligent Jack-of-all-trades type LB who can make a play anywhere on the field, though lacks the physical prowess some of his higher ranking peers possess

RESUME:

  • 5th most tackles in the Big XII in 2018 (99)
  • 10-tackle games in 4 of the 6 games he played in for 2019
  • Best Game: v. Iowa State (W 23-21)
    • 13 tackles (7 solo, 6 assists) | 1.5 TFL | 1 sack | 2 PD
  • Worst Game: v. Stephen F. Austin (W 56-17)
    • 5 tackles (3 solo, 2 assists) | 1 PD
  • DCTF All-Texas College first team (2019)
  • All-Big 12 coaches second team selection (2018)

Strengths:

__________ Physical _____________________________________________

  • High production on the field, averaging almost 10 tackles a game
  • Average Strength with 18 reps for the combine bench press, the average and median of ILBs
  • Excellent play speed
  • Good lateral movement
  • Shows good instances of having enough power to play through blockers
  • Ok agility, sometimes able to change direction, other times getting shook easily

__________ Mental _______________________________________________

  • Excellent experience as a 5-year player and 3-year starter
  • Extremely great consistency improving each year, and having a 10-tackle game in 4 of his 6 games in 2019
  • Proactive player who looks for the ball and playmaking opportunities
  • Tenacious player who does not stop until the whistle is blown
  • Patient player who waits to see where to attack
  • Shows excellent preparation in his handling of different offenses
  • Quick to diagnose plays post-snap
  • Good football IQ to be expected from his experience

__________ Tackling ________________________________________________

  • Excellent pop in his shoulder pads
  • Great fundamentals when initiating a tackle, including a suffocating wrap up
  • One of the more reliable tacklers in the game
  • Strong grip allows him to successfully bring down smaller threats with arm tackles
  • Aggressive when attacking the ball carrier
  • Better than most tackle range, can extend his body past his base to make tackles
  • Excellent pursuit angles can squeeze runners to the sideline

__________ Run Defense ___________________________________________

  • Good pursuit speed to catch runners from behind or pressure them
  • Excellent at tracking the runner, rarely loses them in congestion
  • Seems to not bite on fakes too often
  • Plays with the instincts you would like for a Mike LB
  • Excellent play to flow to maintain his positioning when runners take it to the sideline
  • Physically tough LB would will get fight in the trenches to make his tackles
  • Can maneuver well in congestion
  • Adequate Vision

__________ Pass Rush _____________________________________________

  • Strong initial pop when meeting blockers
  • Quick off the snap if lined up to show blitz
  • Fast when shooting the gap, catching some OL out of position
  • Can run with power under him to pierce the pocket’s integrity

__________ Coverage ______________________________________________

  • Can be effective on inside zone 
  • Knows how to position himself relative to what the formation the offense is running
  • Good awareness to keep track of receivers around him, and make a play
  • Can be an effective spy if needed
  • Keep his eyes on the QB, reacting to his eyes or his body language

Weaknesses:

__________ Physical _____________________________________________

  • Undersized for his position at only 227 lbs
  • Below average top speed with a projected forty time of only 4.7
  • Coming off a season ending injury in 2019, has been injured in ‘17. ‘18, & ‘19
  • Low usage rate on the season because of injury

__________ Mental _______________________________________________

__________ Tackling ________________________________________________

  • Less than stellar angle tackling, can see him get juked with a sly backstep
  • Footwork during tackles wonky sometimes

__________ Run Defense ___________________________________________

  • Does not find and plug the hole as much as you would like, often meeting RBs when they emerge from the clutter
  • Slow to crash downhill in an attempt to mirror RB’s moves

__________ Pass Rush _____________________________________________

  • Poor at actually shedding blocks, able to move blockers, but little after that
  • Does not maintain his position through a block, throwing everything he has into trying to break it
  • Little to no hand usage

__________ Coverage ______________________________________________

  • Little to no pressure on the route
  • Often slow to connect with crossing routes, usually lagging behind them
  • Poor closing speed to make a play when the ball is in the air
  • Slow backpedal to get to deeper zones in a timely manner

Bold Predictions:

  • Draft Placement: 3rd – 4th Round
  • Status: Short-Term Project Player
  • Ceiling: NFL Starter
  • Floor: Special Teams

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