The Pittsburgh Steelers have selected Texas A&M inside linebacker Buddy Johnson with the 35th pick of the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. It was the 140th pick overall.
Butkus Award Semifinalist
Overall: Started all 10 games … Served as a veteran leader on the SEC’s top defense, finishing the season ranked ninth nationally … Named a Semifinalist for the Butkus Award … Led the team in tackles (86), tackles for loss (8.5) and forced fumbles (2), while his 4.0 sacks total on the year was good for second among Aggies … Led the team in tackles in seven games, reaching double figures in the category on six occasions … Served as team captain in six games… Prior to the season, was named to the Nagurski and Butkus Award Watch Lists.
Game-by-Game: Helped lead the defense with 11 tackles, reaching double figures in the category for the third time in his career in the season-opening win over Vanderbilt …Led the defense for the second straight game with eight takedowns at Alabama… Forced a fumble with under four minutes remaining in the game that set up A&M’s game-winning drive to top No. 4 Florida … Led an A&M defense that tallied 6.0 sacks and limited the Bulldogs to negative rushing yards with 12 tackles, two breakups and another forced fumble … Matched his career high of 12 tackles, including two tackles-for-loss and one sack in the win over Arkansas … Helped the A&M defense limit the Gamecocks to 150 yards total offense in the win at South Carolina … Picked off his first career interception and returned it 15 yards for his second career defensive touchdown in the victory over LSU … Johnson also added a sack against the Tigers … Made two tackles in the win at Tennessee, reaching 200 for his career … Led the defense with 10 tackles, 2.5 for loss including a sack, in the Orange Bowl victory over North Carolina.
2019 (JUNIOR): Started all 13 games … Led the Aggie defense with 77 tackles and was third on the team with 9.5 tackles for loss … Led the Aggies with six tackles, including 1.5 for loss, in the season-opening win over Texas State … Had five tackles, including 1.0 for a 6-yard loss at No. 1 Clemson … Had a pair of tackles against Lamar … Was in on six tackles and added a QB hurry against Auburn … Made seven tackles, 2.5 for loss, including a sack for a 10-yard loss, adding a hurry and a breakup in the win over Arkansas … Led the way with 11 tackles against Alabama … Led the defense with 10 tackles and recovered a fumble, returning it 62 yards for a touchdown to help the Aggies take down Ole Miss … Was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his play against the Rebels … Made six tackles in the in over Mississippi State … Had four tackles and QB hurry against UTSA … Led the way with six tackles, while also forcing a fumble against South Carolina … Had three tackles, 1.0 for loss, at Georgia … Was in on four tackles at LSU … Made six tackles in the Texas Bowl in over Oklahoma State … Earned the Defensive Playmaker and Defensive Strength Award at the annual team banquet.
2018 (SOPHOMORE): Appeared in 12 games, and recorded 27 tackles, 5.0 for 16 yards lost and recovered a fumble … led the team with four tackles, including a tackle for loss against Northwestern State … compiled seven tackles and assisted on a tackle for a loss against Mississippi State … recorded three tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and a half sack against Auburn … recovered his first fumble off a punt by Braden Mann in the third quarter that set up an Aggie touchdown against No. 7 LSU … compiled five tackles and assisted on a tackle for a loss against NC State.
2017 (FRESHMAN): Appeared in 12 games racking up 20 tackles with a sack and three QB hurries … closed out the regular season at LSU with nine tackles, a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss … recorded two QB hurries and two tackles against Arkansas … made two tackles and hurried the QB once at Florida … registered two tackles versus Auburn.
HIGH SCHOOL: Coached by Henry Cofer at Dallas Kimball High School … the versatile Johnson was Kimball’s leading rusher and receiver in 2016 with 472 rushing yards and 446 receiving yards, in addition to 268 passing yards … Earned first-team all-district honors at linebacker as a senior in 2016 after earning second-team recognition at quarterback as a junior … rated a three-star recruit by PrepStar … named to the PrepStar All-Midlands Region Team … four-star recruit by Scout … rated the No. 289 recruit nationally … rated the nation’s No. 19 outside linebacker … ranked No. 4 OLB in Texas and the Midland Region … four-star prospect by Rivals … rated the No. 28 outside linebacker in the nation … No. 46 recruit in the state of Texas … three-star by ESPN … rated the No. 45 athlete in the nation … No. 81 in the state of Texas and No. 99 in the Midlands Region … three-star by 247Sports … rated the No. 19 outside linebacker in the nation … No. 49 player in the state of Texas.