With the No. 237 overall pick in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers have selected Virginia linebacker
As a three-year starter for the Cavaliers, the 6-foot-3, 268-pound linebacker was one of the most athletic players at his position. Johnson ran a 4.81, 40-yard dash and leaped 35 inches at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine.
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock listed Johnson as the 50th player on his Top-100 list and gave the Virginia linebacker a second-round grade.
In 2011, Johnson led the Cavaliers in sacks (4.0) and was second in tackles for loss (11.0). The speedy linebacker also totalted 30 tackles to go along with one fumble recovery and one pass break-up.
Johnson introduced himself to the Bay Area media on Saturday in a conference call shortly after being selected by the 49ers.
Are you disappointed to have fallen to the seventh round? Some prognostications had you going higher than that.
“The projections aren’t always true, as everybody knows. I’m just ready to go to a team and compete. I’m happy that I’m with the 49ers right now and I’m ready to play.”
What do you know about them, specifically the depth at outside linebacker on the defense?
“I know they’re a team that plays tough defense. They play hard. I’m ready to try to compete for a spot on that defense. I’m ready to play and I’m excited.”
Did you have any sense that the 49ers were one of the teams that were interested in you?
“I got a couple calls from them and met with them at the Senior Bowl. I felt interest. I’m glad they liked me.”
You’re a defensive end who projects to play at outside linebacker, is that right?
Did you play outside linebacker when UVA was in a 3-4?
“Yes, under Coach [Al] Groh.”
So you’ve got plenty of experience lining up in a two-point stance rushing the quarterback?
“Yes, I played there for two years under Coach Groh.”
Where are you right now?
“Right now I’m in Maryland with my family.”
Have you set up plans to come out this way yet?
“Not yet. I’m still high off the excitement of everything. Just waiting to see everything that happens next.”
I just saw a headline, so excuse me if this is way off base, but did you have some sort of a health issue that might have pushed you down the draft board?
“I’m not sure. I had a knee injury that held me back last year, but I’m feeling healthy and I’m ready to compete.”
Did you get a chance to watch any of the 49ers in this past season?
“Not really, I was focused on my season and the things we needed to do to win. That was pretty much my focus for the year.”
I know he was gone by the time that you got to UVA, but are you familiar with LB
“He’s definitely a living legend around that area, but I’ve never met him personally.”