Jaleel Johnson

Texans To Sign DT Jaleel Johnson

Jaleel Johnson‘s visit with the Texans has resulted in a deal. The free agent defensive tackle announced on Twitter that he’s signed with Houston. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle has confirmed the news (via Twitter).

The former fourth-round pick out of Iowa had spent his entire career with the Vikings, appearing in each of the team’s 48 regular season games between 2018 and 2020. Following a 2019 campaign that saw Johnson compile a career-high 3.5 sacks, the 26-year-old finished 2020 with 44 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Pro Football Focus wasn’t particularly fond of the lineman’s performance this past season, however, rating him as one of the worst interior defenders.

Despite his underwhelming performance, Johnson should see some playing time in Houston. Holdovers like Ross Blacklock and additions like Maliek Collins didn’t set the world on fire last season, and as Wilson reported earlier today (via Twitter), the Texans withdrew their tender on defensive tackle P.J. Hall. The former second-rounder started nine games for the Texans last season.

Texans Meet With Lane Taylor, Jaleel Johnson

Despite coming off back-to-back injury-marred seasons, Lane Taylor continues to draw interest as a free agent. The Texans brought the veteran offensive lineman in for a visit Monday, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets.

The Texans also summoned former Vikings defensive line starter Jaleel Johnson for a meeting. Under new GM Nick Caserio, Houston has made several modest investments in starters or depth pieces this offseason. These two would qualify as such, though the Texans may be merely monitoring Taylor’s rehab progress.

Taylor, 31, missed 29 games over the past two seasons. Biceps and knee maladies altered the former Packers guard’s NFL path; he is currently recovering from an ACL tear. However, Taylor’s latest injury occurred in nearly seven months ago. That would give the eight-year vet a reasonable chance to be ready for a training camp. The 49ers, who hosted Taylor in March, and Texans are looking into his status late in the rehab process.

The Packers gave Taylor an extension and used him as a full-time starter from 2016-18. He missed just two games during that stretch. Green Bay penciled in Taylor as a Week 1 starter in 2019 and ’20 as well. However, the two major injuries will limit the former UDFA’s value on this year’s market.

A 2017 fourth-round pick, Johnson started 16 games for the Vikings last season. The defensive tackle also recorded 3.5 sacks as a rotational player during the 2019 slate. The Vikings moved on from Linval Joseph and saw Michael Pierce opt out last year, opening a door for Johnson to start. Pro Football Focus did not view Johnson’s starter season in a positive light, rating him as one of the worst interior defenders in 2020. Johnson and Texans Ross Blacklock and Maliek Collins each ranked in PFF’s bottom five among interior D-linemen last season. Johnson received higher marks as a backup in previous years.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Pick Signings: 5/26/17

The latest draft pick signings from around the NFL:

  • The Raiders have announced the signings of six picks, meaning they’ve now locked up two-thirds of their nine-player draft class. Fourth-round offensive lineman David Sharpe, fifth-round linebacker Marquel Lee and four seventh-rounders – Shalom Luani (defensive back, Washington State), Jylan Ware (offensive tackle, Alabama State), Elijah Hood (running back, North Carolina) and Treyvon Hester (defensive tackle, Toledo) – are now under contract. The 6-foot-6, 343-pound Sharpe was the No. 1 left tackle at Florida over the two previous years, starting 26 games, though he’s likely to serve as a guard in the pros, according to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com. Lee, meanwhile, saw action in all four of his years at Wake Forest and racked up 100 tackles in two of those seasons. All told, he amassed 41 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks (7.5 last year) with the Demon Deacons. Despite that impressive production, Zierlein regards Lee as more of a potential backup linebacker/special teamer than a starter in the NFL.
  • The Vikings have signed two fourth-rounders – defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson (Iowa) and linebacker Ben Gedeon (Michigan) – as well as fifth-round offensive lineman Danny Isidora (Miami), writes Lindsay Young of the team’s website. Johnson became a full-time player with the Hawkeyes in 2015 and combined for 15.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks over the past two years, and could develop into a pass-rushing threat in the pros. Geodeon was quite productive with the Wolverines last season, recording 94 tackles (15 for loss) and 4.5 sacks, though Zierlein contends that he’s not fast enough to become an impact defender at the highest level. Isidora, a three-year starter at right guard as a Hurricane, earned second-team all-ACC honors in 2016. Although Isidora was a late-round pick, he has the potential to start in the NFL, per Zierlein.