KU's Steven Johnson shows well at NFL Combine
After waiting all morning for his time to take the turf, Kansas University linebacker Steven Johnson, a senior from Media, Pa., who is participating in this year's NFL Combine in Indianapolis, finally got the chance to show his skills to the scouts early this afternoon.
Although Johnson underwhelmed in a couple of areas, he turned in solid performances in all of the agility tests and ran a respectable 40-yard dash time.
There seems to be some discrepancy (there always is) about the actual time. NFL.com earlier reported it at 4.65 but has since changed that number to a 4.78. A couple of other sites continue to list the faster time as Johnson's best.
None of the times are official, we usually don't get those until a day or two later when they're released by a scout.
Here's a quick look at Johnson's day:
- 40-YARD DASH -
Johnson ran a solid 4.65-second 40-yard dash time on his first attempt. Good start, smooth run, strong finish.
In his second run, Johnson's time dipped to 4.73 seconds, which is not that far from the 4.65 but a far cry from the 4.5 he was hoping to run.
Still, Johnson's 4.65 went down as the 12th fastest 40 time among all linebackers in Indianapolis. Solid showing.
- VERTICAL JUMP -
Johnson, 6-foot-2, 239 pounds, was what NFL.com calls a "top performer" in the vertical jump, as well, as he turned in a leap of 36 inches, good for ninth best among all linebackers at the Combine.
- BENCH PRESS -
Johnson had hoped to finish with 20 reps or higher in the bench press, which measures how many consecutive times the athletes can lift 225 pounds. He finished just shy of that mark, with a total of 16 reps. Not bad, but not great.
- BROAD JUMP -
Johnson did not test real well in the broad jump, finishing with a top leap of 113 inches or 9 feet, 4+ inches.
The broad jump, for those who don't know, is basically a standing long jump, where the participant starts with two feet planted and jumps out as far as he can. He has to stick the landing for it to count.
- THREE-CONE DRILL -
Johnson's time of 7.32 seconds was the second fastest of all linebackers in attendance according to NFL.com's official combine site.
This is not a surprise, as Johnson never was the biggest, fastest or strongest player but always found a way to use his natural instincts and ability to get to the ball. While some of the other numbers may have hurt him a little, this should help him tremendously.
- 20-YARD SHUTTLE DRILL -
Johnson continued to perform well in the agility tests with a 4.38-second time in the 20-yard shuttle drill. This was the third fastest time among all linebackers at this year's combine and continued to show that Johnson is good on his feet and uses his body control to his advantage.
- 60-YARD SHUTTLE DRILL -
Pretty much the same news here, as Johnson's time of 11.93 was the third fastest reported time among linebackers at this year's combine.
It should be noted that not all of the linebackers in attendance participated in all of the drills. Johnson did, though, and likely will do the same when he returns to Lawrence to participate in KU's pro day on March 14.
Look for his focus between now and then to be on dropping that 40 time and improving his bench press number. All of his other results most likely helped him in the eyes of the NFL scouts.