NFL Combine Snap Judgments
Georgia Tech's confident Johnson is 'total package'
Posted: Saturday February 24, 2007 6:18PM; Updated: Saturday February 24, 2007 6:18PM
INDIANAPOLIS -- The quarterbacks always get the glory and the lion's share of the attention, but let's drop the spotlight that has been trained on the JaMarcus Russell-Brady Quinn debate for a moment and make sure we spend some time talking about the best player in this year's NFL Draft: Georgia Tech junior receiver Calvin Johnson.
If you're surprised by that designation, it's only because you haven't been paying close attention. Johnson's supremacy is a notion that doesn't get much argument among NFL personnel evaluators, even if he is an underclassman. He probably won't go first overall, but that doesn't mean he isn't the elite player in this year's draft. To use a phrase that gets tossed out far too liberally when it comes to judging athletic ability, he is "the total package.''
But don't take our word for it. Take his.
"I definitely feel that way,'' said Johnson on Saturday, when asked point-blank if he was the draft's best player.
Why? "I'm standing right in front of you,'' he said, matter-of-factly. "Not many people have the combination of my size, speed and strength.''
Johnson clearly doesn't lack for confidence. But then again, he doesn't lack for anything in a football sense.
"He's got everything you want,'' Seahawks vice president of player personnel Ruston Webster said. "He's a freak. He is the best athlete here.''
Johnson's measurables just don't add up. He's 6-foot-5 and weighed in here at the NFL Scouting Combine at 239 pounds. He'll run his 40-yard dash on Sunday, but he reportedly has been timed in the low 4.3s lately. His vertical jump is an eye-popping 45 inches, and he admitted that last year he hit the top tap on the pole that's used to measure that drill ("I'm sure I could do more than that.'')
Want more? The scouting report on Johnson is favorable in terms of intangibles as well. He's a character case, but the kind every team wants to have. Johnson's track record is as a solid citizen and exemplary teammate, and while he said many compare him to Randy Moss and Terrell Owens from a physical standpoint, it's another NFL receiver he wants to emulate.
"My character out on the field is like Marvin Harrison's,'' Johnson said. "I just go out and get the job done. I'm most like Marvin Harrison with his attitude.''
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