Rookie report LB Nico Johnson

February, 11, 2014
2/11/14
7:30
AM ET
LB Nico Johnson

How acquired: 2014 fourth-round draft pick.

Johnson
2013 season: Johnson's rookie season didn't amount to much. The Kansas City Chiefs were hopeful that Johnson could challenge for a starting spot at one of the inside linebacking spots but he never made a strong push. Injuries slowed him during training camp and the preseason and the Chiefs wound up starting veteran Akeem Jordan instead. Johnson played in six games, mostly on special teams. He was in for 17 snaps on defense all season, most of those coming in the final regular-season game when the Chiefs rested many of their key players and Johnson started.

Looking ahead: The same starting spot could be available for Johnson this season. Jordan is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. Johnson is unlikely to be handed anything. He will have to earn the spot, so the Chiefs will at least give him some competition for the job, whether that's Jordan or someone else. Johnson could eventually develop into a solid run defender but that's probably all he will ever be. He lacks the proper speed and range to be good in coverage, so he will likely always come out of the game on passing downs.

Adam Teicher

ESPN Kansas City Chiefs reporter

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