April 27, 2013

Rufus Johnson, Defensive End, Tarleton State

15th selection in the sixth round, 183rd overall
6'5", 272 pounds, 4.75s 40

An obscure star  from the Lone Star Conference went the juco route from Kilgore JC to Tarleton State University, out of Dallas, TX.  Fourth overall draft pick Lane Johnson also played at Kilgore JC before transferring to Oklahoma.

The Lone Star Conference defensive lineman of the year and a member of the 2012 Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-America team, Johnson is only the second player since 1967 to be drafted out of Division II Tarleton State in Stephenville, Texas.

Johnson played in the Texas vs. the Nation college All-Star game in February, the first from Tarleton State to play in the event.

Johnson ran a 4.75s 40 at the Texas State Pro Day in March, pressed 225 pounds 20 times and recorded a 34.5" vertical.

Johnson played right defensive end in a 4-3 formation for the Texans, recording 10 sacks and 17.5 TFL as a senior.  As a junior, Johnson recorded 5.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss.  Johnson will be tasked to trim down and speed up to play as a situational outside pass rusher.

Without a seventh round pick, the Saints may have felt they had to draft Johnson in the sixth round or would not be able to sign him on the undrafted market.

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