Derrell Johnson, OLB

School: East Carolina  |  Conference: AAC
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Height/Weight: 6-2 / 257 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
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Player Overview

A two-time All-Conference USA award honoree, Johnson made the transition to a 3-4 stand-up linebacker in 2011. He has demonstrated a natural feel for the position both as a run defender who can disrupt the backfield as well as in an edge-rush role, having tallied a combined 24 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks over the last two seasons.

Despite his impressive play at the line of scrimmage, Johnson lacks the length and size to convince scouts that he's ready to make a swift transition from Conference USA to the pros as an every-down rush end, and he's probably best suited in a system in which he can put his "head-hunter" mentality to use on special teams and compete to put his nicely-developed repertoire of pass-rush skills to use in nickel packages.

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Thick, athletic-looking frame with a powerful lower half, and chiseled physique.

Demonstrates impressive natural power on contact, establishing leverage with a low center of gravity and driving offensive lineman back with a strong bull rush. Physical tackler who loves to make the big hit. Fights relentlessly to get off blocks, and demonstrates impressive hand power to disengage from bigger blockers.

Impressive closing burst as an edge rusher, and demonstrates a natural ability to flatten at the edge with nice hip flexibility and balance. Exhibits an explosive first step off the snap as a rusher, both from a three-point stance, as well as from a stand-up position. Exhibits a strong rip move and arm-over swim as a rusher.

WEAKNESSES: Weighed in at 248 pounds for the Shrine Game, down from a prior listed weight in the 260's and making him a bit of a 'tweener when considering his prospects as an every-down edge rusher at the next level.

Heavy footed in space, and struggles to redirect with any kind of suddenness. Lacks fluidity in reverse, and gets a bit choppy when transitioning to run from a backpedal. Does a lot of hopping around when changing direction, and lacks an overall feel for the passing game as a zone defender.


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Player News
12/23/2013 - PLAYERS TO WATCH: OLB Derrell Johnson enters the postseason having started the past 48 games in a Pirates uniform. Now a senior, Johnson has 7 1/2 sacks this season, including two in the loss to Marshall that ended the regular season. - The Sports Xchange


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