The Saints decided to add another defensive lineman with their sixth round pick and selected Rufus Johnson from Tarleton State University. Johnson doesn’t necessarily pop off the tape, but he has the ability to be a disruptive player in the NFL with some development.
Standing at six-foot-five and 272 pounds, Johnson definitely has the size to command the attention of NFL offensive linemen. He ran a 4.75 40-yard dash and a 34 1/2-inch vertical jump.
Looking at some tape of him, its very clear that Johnson has the explosion off the line that you look for from a defensive linemen. He doesn’t always bite on the play-action and makes an effort to diagnose what is going on before committing to the play.
He finished with 10 sacks in his senior season at Tarleton State. I would imagine that Johnson will be a project player much like Junior Galette was when he came into the league.
Johnson played in a 4-3 defensive scheme in college and will most likely switch between outside linebacker and defensive end in Rob Ryan’s 3-4 defense. The most important part of this selection is that it gives the Saints good depth at linebacker.