- Mar 12, 2006
- Reaction score
Don't be surprised if we make a play for this athletic outside linebacker.
Comment: Gold is an eight-year and has spent all but one of those seasons in Denver. He is slightly undersized but compensates with a huge motor and very good speed, athleticism and instincts. He tends to run under blocks at times and can run himself out of the play, but he generally has the speed and athleticism to still make the play. He is a strong tackler but does not bring a lot of lead with him and can be carried for extra yards. He is an effective blitzer and shows both the speed and timing to be successful. Gold slips blocks rather than taking them on and can be swallowed up by offensive linemen who get to his body. He gets good depth in his coverage drops and has the hip turn and agility to stay with most TEs down the seam. He is inconsistent with his route recognition and does not always get a good jump on the ball from zone.
I'd prefer Landon Johnson. Johnson is younger and more productive than Gold, and also hasn't missed a game in his 4 year career.
Comment: Johnson finished the 2006 season with 113 tackles and saw additional playing time due to the numerous injuries of Cincinnati's linebacker corps. He had a very steady season. He is versatile enough to play either outside linebacker spot and is well-suited as a nickel linebacker as well. Johnson also has experience in the middle, but isn't a real good fit inside. He is tall with a lean athletic build. He is very tough and played with pain quite a bit in 2006, refusing to let it hold him back. He is a very hard worker, both on and off the field and is a high character person. Johnson has never missed a game in his career. His motor is certainly a plus to his game and he doesn't quit on the play. He is a solid special teams contributor with the ideal skill set for coverage teams. Although not overly sudden or explosive, Johnson is a smooth athlete who runs and changes directions well. He sees running plays develop well and is also very aware in coverage with good range on his drops. He is intelligent and should continue to improve because of his intelligence matched with his work ethic. He is a sound, but not explosive, wrap-up tackler who shows no fear to insert. Johnson is cut high and probably never will be a great take on player, as he lacks the lower-body power and overall strength to continually battle much bigger blockers. Johnson isn't massive, thick or particularly strong. He struggles to shed once linemen get into his body. He doesn't offer much as a pass rusher. Although he is versatile, he is clearly best on the weak side, where he can be protected. Johnson is still quite young and still has a lot of upside to further develop. In the meantime, he is an adequate starting outside linebacker who offers a lot on special teams.