Nico Johnson, Senior, Linebacker, Alabama
Heading into the 2012 campaign, Nico Johnson was never more than a part-time starter. However, that has had a lot to do with the Crimson Tide’s depth at linebacker and willingness to run different formations depending on the competition. Back in 2009 Johnson made three starts as a true freshman and tallied 28 tackles and 4.5 tackles-for-loss. The following season Johnson finished the season with 33 stops.
As an upperclassman, Johnson played a larger role and tallied 47 tackles, including 6.5 tackles-for-loss. Johnson even did a decent job backing up into coverage and should be a fine fit in any 3-4 defense in the NFL.
Johnson’s best asset is his ability to come up and stuff the run. He has shown recently that he can do more than just stop the run and be a more versatile linebacker. But it is his ability to help the front line that will make Johnson an attractive option for any NFL team that runs a 3-4 defense.