The 49ers used their final pick in the 2012 NFL Draft to select DE/OLB Cam Johnson out of Virginia.
6’3 268 lbs
Johnson played his first two years at outside linebacker at Virginia before moving to end, although his current size doesn’t necessarily suggest positional versatility at the next level. He has solidified himself as an end in a 4-3 scheme since he excels at many things that coaches utilizing 9-technique players desire at the position.
Strengths: Johnson is a good athlete who moves well for an end his size. He has the foot quickness and explosive first step to keep offensive tackles off balance, and the body control to work his moves and not be thrown off track by linemen. He is a classic 4-3 defensive end who excels at rushing the passer. He is a face-up tackler who can fill his lane in run support, despite the inclination to rush the passer every down. He uses his hands actively when rushing the passer and playing against the run, and he gives good effort in pursuit on the backside. He is strong enough to hold the edge for his linebackers to flow to their gaps.
Weaknesses: The scouting report on Johnson will recommend getting an extra hand or body on him at all times to completely neutralize him. At Virginia, he struggled against double teams. The problem usually stemmed from his effort, considering he displays the strength and technique to elude blocks when facing a single blocker. He will give up at times if he notices an extra blocker near him. He will need to learn how to bring it on every down in the NFL.