KU's Steven Johnson shows well at NFL Combine

Kansas linebacker Steven Johnson runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Monday, Feb. 27, 2012.

Kansas linebacker Steven Johnson runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Monday, Feb. 27, 2012. by Associated Press

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. 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.

Johnson, 6-foot-2, 239 pounds, was what 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.

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.

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.

Johnson's time of 7.32 seconds was the second fastest of all linebackers in attendance according to'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.

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.

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.

Kansas linebacker Steven Johnson runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis on Monday, Feb. 27, 2012.

Kansas linebacker Steven Johnson runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis on Monday, Feb. 27, 2012. by Associated Press



MarkSmith_19 2 years ago

I have something to do with it, don't be surprised if he gets picked up in the 4th..


Dan Pawlowski 2 years, 1 month ago

Matt , Great article and your follow up posts are awesome. Great Job.


ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 1 month ago

Not everyone did the drills and you have a usual 6-10 juniors that are not there.

Tait, who runs pro day at ku when there is a complete turnover in staff?


Keith Hummel 2 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for the updates Matt. I'm really pulling for Steven. Nobody has worked harder than this kid. It would be a tremendous story if he could earn a spot on someone's NFL roster. I think if the scouts consider how he played, and that he led the Big-12, and that he compares favorably with the other top linebackers, that he will get a shot. I also wouldn't be surprised to see him kill the Bench Press and improve that 40 time at KU's pro day. Allot of pressure at the combines, and his nerves may have gotten the better of him. Regardless, very proud of our linebacker.


ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 1 month ago

Apparently my definition of "showing well" and yours differs.


KGphoto 2 years, 1 month ago

Actually is now listing a 4.78 40. Not too good. Although the website has been erratic at best, so hopefully they get his best time posted soon. Walter Football has been much less frustrating to scan the results on, and they still have him at 4.65.

His 16 reps put him at the very bottom. Almost an embarrassing amount below average for the LBs. Second worst to Sean Spence from Miami who did 12. Other than that, only 6 other LBs went under 20 and most of them did 19. I'm not a big proponent of bench results but Kuechly is taller and more slender and he put up 27. Johnson might have benefitted from a DNP for the bench press. I'm sure scouts would have looked at him and given him the benefit of the doubt because comparing him to the others visually, I would have put him in the middle of the pack. Maybe given him a guess of at least 22 or something.

The 36 inch vert. is definitely a plus but his 9'5" broad jump was below average.

I only got to see him run a couple of drills. He looked pretty good. Lost a shoe on his first cut during one and struggled through it, but caught the pass and finished strong. I was surprised how bad some of these LBs ball skills were. Lots of drops during that drill.


cool_beans 2 years, 1 month ago

he will be a solid special teams player


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