04/30/2012 - A closer look at the Browns' drafts: Round 4/120 - James-Michael Johnson, LB, 6-1, 241, Nevada...The Browns need a backup for D'Qwell Jackson after not tendering Titus Brown. Johnson will be a major contributor on special teams. - The Sports Xchange
Nevada defenders have a tough time trying to make people take notice of their play because of the team's offense, which ranked fourth in the FBS in total yardage in 2010. But Johnson's toughness and production has not escaped notice of WAC coaches, who named him second-team all-conference in each of the last two seasons, and NFL scouts.
Johnson played in all 13 games with 10 starts as a redshirt freshman. Included in his 49 tackles were 12.5 for a loss, and he also had 1.5 sacks, an interception and forced fumble. He started every game over the next two seasons, making 57 tackles, 11.5 for loss, and five pass break-ups on the outside in 2009 before moving to the middle as a junior (88 tackles, eight TFL, 2.5 sacks, three forced fumbles).
Teams running base schemes should see Johnson as one of the top true mike linebackers in this draft because of his ability to come downhill against the run.
Positives: Tough between-the-tackles defender who shimmies past blockers to fill lanes. Downhill, aggressive run-stuffer with enough strength to stop ballcarriers in the hole. Vocal leader and team captain. Shows some flexibility to loop to the quarterback as a pass rusher. Gets his hands in the passing lanes. Effort is there in coverage.
Negatives: Limited vision and is easily fooled by misdirection. Lacks range and lateral agility in coverage. Not often used as a blitzer. Average at best changing direction. Builds to top speed and must take the right line to beat backs to the edge.