The Pittsburgh Steelers have selected Texas A&M LB Buddy Johnson with their second 4th round pick in the 2021 draft.
Entering the 2021 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers had a number of draft needs which they needed to address. Unlike in 2020, with no first round selection in the draft, the Steelers possessed a full allotment of draft picks. With eight picks, the following positions could be viewed as a priority entering the selection process: running back, center, pass rusher and even inside linebacker. Those positions, and more, were positions of need to help the black-and-gold get to the next level in 2021. There have been numerous thoughts and debates regarding what the team will do in Day 3 of the NFL Draft.
When the dust settled, the Steelers have selected Texas A&M linebacker Buddy Johnson, with their second pick in the draft.
Once again, the Steelers waste no time getting their pick in. They take Buddy Johnson, ILB, Texas A&M.
— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) May 1, 2021
For those who may not know much about Buddy Johnson as a player, this is his overall breakdown of his game, per his NFL Draft Profile:
Blue-collar inside linebacker with good size and a forceful demeanor to stake his claim inside the box. Johnson developed into a highly respected team leader during his time with the Aggies. In just his second year at inside linebacker, Johnson showed great improvement in pursuit leverage and recognition of blocking schemes, but is still learning to recognize the best pathways to the football. He meets power with power when taking on blockers and does a nice job of playing off and finding his way toward the runner. There is still room for improvement as a move tackler in the open field and he’s currently a coverage liability in the passing game. Johnson has the makeup of a two-down inside linebacker with special teams value.
- Team leader through actions and words.
- Good size, definition and aggression.
- Durable and tough with experience inside and outside.
- Took big leap forward with feel for inside linebacker position in 2020.
- Careful not to overshoot running back’s entry point.
- Works hard to recover from missteps to get back into the play.
- Does dirty work to help defense thrive.
- Physical striker and wrap-up finisher.
- Attacks the block with aggressive punch.
- Plays with alpha demeanor to control the action inside.
- Needs to get deeper downhill to short-circuit pulling guards.
- Allowed Alabama’s Landon Dickerson time to climb up and block him.
- Needs to slip blocks occasionally rather than always going to battle.
- Hip tightness hinders open-field coverage agility.
- Looked lost with coverage responsibilities at times.
- Needs to stay light on his feet as open-field tackler.
The Pittsburgh Steelers’ draft needs in the remaining rounds of the draft now would be considered: Outside linebacker, cornerback among other positions.
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