Home NFL New York Jets: Scouting Jets UDFA linebacker Caleb Johnson

New York Jets: Scouting Jets UDFA linebacker Caleb Johnson

New York Jets: Scouting Jets UDFA linebacker Caleb Johnson


Between now and preseason, we’ll be breaking down the Jets’ undrafted rookies. Right now, we break down former UCLA and Miami linebacker Caleb Johnson.

The 24-year outdated Johnson is listed at 6’0” and 235 kilos and was an honorable point out all-Pac 12 choice in 2020 after racking up 5.5 sacks at UCLA. He had a profession excessive 48 tackles after transferring to Miami final season.


Popping out of highschool, Johnson initially went down the Junior School route, as he joined Fullerton CC. In three seasons, he missed two years on account of damage however racked up 41 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss and a pressured fumble in 2017.

In 2019, he was at Texas for 3 video games however didn’t play earlier than lastly incomes a scholarship at UCLA for 2020. Over the subsequent two years, he began 17 video games.

In 2020, he had 44 tackles and 5.5 sacks whereas additionally intercepting a cross and earned an honorable point out all-Pac 12 choice. He had 45 tackles, three cross breakups and a decide in 2021.

He opted to switch once more in 2022, this time becoming a member of the Miami Hurricanes. He had 48 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, two pressured fumbles and 1.5 sacks.

Johnson wasn’t invited to the scouting mix, however turned heads with a quick 40-yard sprint at his professional day. After going unselected within the draft, he signed an undrafted free agent cope with the Jets, together with $50K in assured wage and a $7.5K signing bonus.

Now let’s check out what Johnson brings to the desk, divided into classes.


Johnson has bulked up in recent times, having initially been listed at 205 at Fullerton and 215 at UCLA. He has under common size although.

At his professional day, Johnson ran an outstanding 4.44 within the 40-yard sprint and posted a 126-inch broad soar and 25 bench press reps. His agility numbers and vertical had been uninspiring although.


Johnson has all the time been employed as an off-ball linebacker, however usually creeps as much as the road, comes off the sting or drops into the slot inside that function. He additionally frolicked with the defensive backs group at Fullarton.

Run protection

Johnson has had some good working recreation manufacturing and might pursue from sideline to sideline or shoot gaps to get in on stops.

He does have a couple of issues to work at although. His play recognition can generally be a beat gradual and he can get caught up in site visitors.

His important problem is that he’s routinely taken out of performs on the second degree until he offers up floor so he can keep away from being caught up on a block.

Protection abilities

Johnson’s main function in protection has been to drop right into a zone protection and maintain the motion in entrance of him so he can react to quick passes. When pressured into direct protection matchups, he can seem a bit of stiff.

He didn’t make a ton of performs in protection, with simply three passes defensed in his profession. He did intercept two passes although.

In his three years on the FBS degree, Johnson didn’t surrender a landing in direct protection and didn’t surrender any 20-yard performs at Miami. Opposing quarterbacks had an 80 p.c completion charge when focusing on him however that included loads of dump-offs.


Johnson has good closing pace, usually appears to take good angles to the soccer and reveals a capability to wrap up and drag down ball carriers in opposition to the run and in area.

He averaged just below 10 missed tackles per season on the FBS degree, as he often had ball carriers run by means of his arm tackles. He additionally confirmed poor approach when hitting at instances.

He pressured two fumbles in his ultimate season and one at Fullarton.


Johnson solely had 1.5 sacks in his final two seasons and actually solely blitzed a handful of instances in his 12 months with Miami. Nonetheless, he confirmed some cross dashing prowess with 5.5 sacks in his first 12 months at UCLA and in addition had 5.5 sacks in his one 12 months on the JUCO degree.

His strain charge was strong at UCLA, principally approaching A-gap blitzes or rushes off the sting.

Particular groups

Johnson hardly performed any particular groups at UCLA however noticed motion on each unit aside from the placekicking unit at Miami. He made some good blocks on the kick return unit and was in on this sort out.


Johnson reveals flashes on occasion with a pleasant hit or by battling for leverage with a blocker and coaches have praised his physicality. Right here’s a play the place he surprisingly takes out an offensive lineman on a rush, regardless that the quarterback removes the ball shortly.

He reportedly labored half time as a bouncer in faculty, throughout which period he forcibly loved throwing folks out, so you’ll be able to think about that he relishes contact.


Johnson has performed in quite a lot of techniques with completely different terminology, and the Miami coaches acknowledged it took some time for him to come back to grips with their scheme, however ultimately the sunshine got here on. Scouting experiences reward his learn and recognition, which reveals up on movie in opposition to quick passes and working performs.

His eye self-discipline can generally let him down and he could be prone to being caught out by misdirection, although.

His consciousness in protection is more likely to be a piece in progress on the NFL degree as a result of when tasked with dropping into protection he made a couple of errors.


Johnson readily admits that he didn’t focus or work laborious in highschool however needed to begin taking issues critically when he moved as much as the Junior School degree.

The UCLA teaching employees praised his consistency and the coaches at Miami stated that his expertise benefited him when he joined their program.

When he was at Texas and never getting any taking part in time Johnson opted to wager on himself and enter the switch portal, lacking his third out of 4 seasons.


Accidents affected Johnson badly at Fullerton. He missed the 2016 season with a groin damage and the 2018 season with a shoulder damage. He then reinjured the shoulder in 2019 when he was attempting to get on the sector at Texas.

He confirmed some toughness by taking part in by means of an arm damage whereas at UCLA. He wore a wrap round his bicep.

Scheme Match

As famous, Johnson has performed quite a lot of techniques and roles in his profession up to now. With the Jets, he’ll get an opportunity to point out how effectively he suits their system in preseason, however finally his finest shot on the important roster can be as a particular teamer, and realistically he ought to in all probability be aiming for the follow squad.


Johnson is an athletic participant who took a circuitous path to the NFL however held his personal when he ultimately arrived at UCLA after which additionally did effectively at Miami.

He didn’t present sufficient in his faculty profession to get drafted and is already 24, however didn’t play in three of his first 4 seasons. Simply making it to the NFL in spite of everything he’s been by means of is spectacular, however he’s going to should be affected person and take advantage of any alternatives he will get in preseason.



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