Well, it didn’t take long for “The Dino” to take a bite out of the league.
Despite having just 12 starts to his name, Alexander Johnson has impressed the analysts over at Pro Football Focus in short order, as he earned the No. 9 ranking on their list of the top 25 linebackers ahead of the 2020 season.
“Johnson is a bigger linebacker by today’s NFL standards at nearly 250 pounds, and he used that size to his advantage in the run game where he posted a 91.4 run-defense grade for the season,” PFF’s Ben Linsey wrote. “He wasn’t exactly a playmaker in coverage, with just one combined interception and pass breakup, but he was far from a liability. Johnson’s 76.3 coverage grade ranked 10th among qualifiers at the position. He’ll look to show that 2019 was no one-year fluke as a key part of the Broncos defense in 2020.”
That kind of performance could earn Johnson league-wide accolades this year. Of the top nine players on this list, Johnson is the only one who has not yet been selected to an All-Pro team or made a Pro Bowl.
Johnson said on Aug. 19 that earning a Pro Bowl nod is one of his individual goals.
“Oh yeah, if you’re playing football and you’re not trying to be a Pro Bowler, why are you playing?” Johnson said. “That’s my goal to be one of the best in the league. I know one goal I’ve set for myself is try and cause a lot of forced fumbles. I want to be one of those guys that can cause a whole lot of fumbles. That’s one goal I know I’ve set for myself. Other than that, just be the best teammate I can be and go out there, have fun and come with a lot of energy.”