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NFL Draft: How Georgia linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson can impact the game in multiple ways

LB is a solid all-around player

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: APR 15 Georgia G-Day Red and Black Spring Game
Jamon Dumas-Johnson
Photo by John Adams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s looking like linebacker will be one of the Las Vegas Raiders' biggest needs, again, when it comes to the 2024 NFL Draft. One backer who will certainly be on their radar this season is Georgia’s Jamon Dumas-Johnson.

Dumas-Johnson has a solid all-around game, racking up 70 total tackles, nine for loss, four sacks and 16 defensive stops in coverage, per Pro Football Focus, for the Bulldogs last season. The latter was one shy of a four-way tie for the lead among linebackers in the SEC.

Right now, he might not project to be a game-changer in the NFL, but he could easily be a quality mid-round target for the Raiders as PFF has the Georgia product ranked 68th on their early big board.

So, what could Dumas-Johnson bring to Sin City?

This first clip isn’t going to show up on the stat sheet but is a quality rep in coverage that helps take away one of the best wide receiver prospects since Calvin Johnson Jr., Marvin Harrison Jr.

It looks like Georgia is running a classic Kirby Smart Cover 3 zone match coverage which essentially functions like a combination of zone and man coverage. Hence why the nickel follows the slot receiver on the ghost motion across the formation behind the quarterback, the outside corners zone turn (butts to the sideline, eyes on the QB) and the safety picks up Harrison Jr. on the deep crossing route.

Dumas-Johnson is going to line up at middle linebacker and will be responsible for the middle hook area of the field. He does a good job of staying home/not coming too far downhill against the ball fake to the receiver in motion and keeps his eyes locked on C.J. Stroud.

Once Dumas-Johnson recognizes where Stroud wants to go with the ball—to Harrison Jr. in the middle of the field—the linebacker works for depth and turns his head to locate the threat. That forces Stroud to come off the read and check it down, putting the Buckeyes in second and eight instead of giving them a first down across midfield.

A safety on the best receiver in college football is not a matchup the defense wants to be in, so this is an excellent job of Dumas-Johnson helping his teammate and preventing a potential big play.

Here’s another quality rep against a quality opponent.

Ohio State comes out in 12 personnel (one running back, two tight ends) and runs an inside split zone. With the 3-technique or strong-side defensive tackle in this instance slanting into the A-gap and the 2-technique or weak-side defensive tackle two-gapping (No. 78), Dumas-Johnson has some flexibility with his gap responsibility. His primary job is to make the 2-technique right.

When No. 78 gets kicked inside on the combo block from Paris Johnson Jr., the sixth overall pick of last April’s draft, Dumas-Johnson starts to cheat outside and into the weak B-gap. He also stays patient and makes Johnson Jr. come to him and block him in space, which allows Dumas-Johnson to use his quickness and athleticism to slip the block and make the play.

Essentially, he put the less athletic offensive lineman in a compromising position—coming off a first-level block—and play to the backer’s strength/advantage. The result is a two-yard gain that sets up a third-down situation.

In this play, we’ll get a glimpse of what Dumas-Johnson can do as a pass-rusher.

The Buckeyes run a play-action pass, faking the end around while the left guard pulls to help protect the edge. However, that creates a potential three-on-two advantage for the Bulldog’s defense.

Pre-snap, Dumas-Johnson does an excellent job of not tipping the blitz which is a big reason why Georgia can capitalize on that numbers advantage.

Watch the right guard. He initially steps to the right to help with the defensive lineman shaded on the right tackle because the guard doesn’t have any indicators that the backer is blitzing until right before the ball is hiked.

Dumas-Johnson’s speed also helps make guard late to pick up the blitz and gives Stroud no option but to eat the ball and take the sack.

We’ll end with a beautiful close and open-field tackle in coverage to pick up one of those defensive stops mentioned above.

Unfortunately, I only have the broadcast angle of this play but we can still get the gist of the coverage as it looks like Georgia is playing Cover 1. That puts Dumas-Johnson on the running back in the flat.

Once Anthony Richardson dumps it to the back, we can see Dumas-Johnson took a good angle to meet the back in the backfield shortly after the catch. From there, he breaks down, waits for the ball carrier to commit to the outside line, and executes a perfect-form tackle with low pad level and good wrap of the legs to pick up a TFL. This isn’t a clip you’ll see on SportsCenter, but it is one that will translate to the next level.