If I remember correctly, the 2013 - 2014 season is where I started dedicating significant amount of time on college prospects. Finding and reading credible scouting reports. Following credible guys who write these reports on twitter. Start writing fanposts here at Pulpit. And so on.
One thing I remember about Anthony Johnson from that time is that he was one of favorite punching bags among arm chair scouts (albeit very skilled ones unlike me) on Twitter. He was a quintessential case that national writers likes of Mel Kiper hype up solely because of upside / raw ability and school he played for.
It was only fair that those arm chair scouts, who had seen too many athletic demons flaming out left and right on their respective teams (what's up Mark Harrison), shook their collective head while staring at Kiper's hairdo.
Anthony Johnson looks like Tarzan and plays like Jane. High pads, little usage of his hands. What does he accomplish?— dp (@qbwins) January 1, 2014
Anthony Johnson, LSU DT, declaring. Really intriguing due to his physical tools, but I think he leaves a lot to be desired too often.— TC Hanx (@HankJoness) January 3, 2014
Am I the only one that feels Anthony Johnson is one of the most overrated players in this draft?— (((Robert Ortiz))) (@DraftOrtiz) January 4, 2014
Feel like I haven't done this in a while. This Anthony Johnson vs. UGA film is disgusting. Terrible.— A.P. (@ap_idgt) March 1, 2014
@ryanlownes You will hate Anthony Johnson. Ego's not bad though.— Ethan Hammerman (@Ethanhamm) March 15, 2014
It was a consensus that his partner in crime, Ego Ferguson was a significantly better prospect.
One thing I can tell is I like Ego >> Anthony Johnson. Like Bennie Logan last year, I don't see Ferguson falling past the top-75 picks #LSU— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) February 9, 2014
And yeah, he really screwed up at the Combine
"@JoshNorris: Anthony Johnson second "unofficial" forty: 5.25. 10 yd of 1.78" yuck— Rich Hill (@PP_Rich_Hill) February 24, 2014
Went back to find my Anthony Johnson scouting report from 2014. He's showing some of those positive traits tonight. pic.twitter.com/ReegePC3nE— Mike Loyko (@NEPD_Loyko) August 19, 2016
Too lazy to read? OK, let me summarize.
Athletic. Talented. Very very raw technique. Poor Production. Underachiever. Should have stayed another year at school.
Fast forward two years, the fact Johnson went undrafted and has been cut twice at the age of 23 only proved them internet arm chair scouts being dead right in their assessment. He was to join the long list of underclassmen who made major mistakes in declaring early.
Until the last night. Until the hooded one cast his dark magic on yet another defensive lineman.
Granted, he did play against 2nd stringers, but this is the same player who legitimately struggled against 2nd ~ 3 rd stringers on his previous teams. Can today's performance be fluky flash in the pan? Yes.
But with BB's great track record with defensive linemen and Anthony's youth and never questioned upside, maybe, maybe we are witnessing a player finally started to figure thing out.
This is why following young players from college is fun.