When your Houston Texans recently announced the signings of nine undrafted free agents, two intriguing names on the list were Penn State’s inside linebacker Jan Johnson and Notre Dame’s outside linebacker Jamir Jones. On various undrafted free agent lists, both Johnson and Jones ranked high among available players after the 2020 NFL Draft. Both players came up clutch more than once for their respective alma matters and now have the chance to be the next UDFA to make a splash for the Houston Texans.
Joining a defense that features J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus, Benardrick McKinney and Zach Cunningham, Jones and Johnson will have the opportunity to compete alongside Houston’s first two 2020 draft picks Ross Blacklock and Jonathan Greenard.
Jones was one of 12 players to leave the Notre Dame program and join an NFL franchise this offseason either by draft or as an UDFA. The 6’ 3”, 255 lb. Rochester, New York native played in 11 games for the Fighting Irish last season, delivering 26 tackles, 6.5 tackles-for-loss, 4.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 1 fumble recovery.
Johnson, a Mohnton, Pennsylvania native, started in 13 games last year and was named captain to start the season - pretty impressive for a former walk-on. During his senior season, Johnson delivered 64 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 fumble recoveries, and 1 interception. Johnson landed honorable mention accolades for Pro Football Focus’s All American team, All Big Ten and several other honors, including the Bob Mitinger Memorial Award for courage, character and social awareness. A guy like this from Penn State? No wonder Bill O’Brien wanted him on the team.
Who Do You Think Wil Do More For The Houston Texans?
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What do you think of these two young men? Where do you see them fitting in Anthony Weaver’s new defense? How do you expect their careers to play out?