The Colts continue to make roster moves attempting to improve their roster in advance of this Sunday's regular season opener against the Oakland Raiders. Most recently, the team sent a conditional draft pick to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for outside linebacker Cam Johnson.
Johnson (6-3, 268 pounds) was originally picked by the 49ers in the 7th round of the 2012 NFL draft. He spent 14 of 16 games last year on the practice squad after a very successful collegiate career at the University of Virginia, including 32.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks. This year, he had himself a heck of a preseason and a tremendous fourth game, where he recorded two sacks and blocked a punt that he then recovered for a touchdown.
Ian Rapoport is reporting that the pick the Colts are sending to the 49ers is a 7th rounder, and it seems that nearly everyone thinks it is a great deal for the Colts. He is a pass rushing outside linebacker who also contributes on special teams. Both pass rush and special teams are areas where the Colts could really use help, and Johnson is brought in to do just that. Chuck Pagano mentioned today in his press conference that Johnson can play both the RUSH and SAM linebacker spots and that the team feels good about that position. Johnson may very well leap Caesar Rayford on the roster, despite Rayford being the star of the preseason for the Colts. That remains to be seen, however. But people really seem to like Cam Johnson, most notably Bleacher Report's Matt Miller:
#Colts new OLB Cam Johnson had a 2nd RD grade, but sickle-cell trait scared teams. He has good 1st step quicks and power. Smart, vision plus— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) September 2, 2013
I don't know much about Johnson until just a few minutes ago, but in that time reading about him it seems like he is a good player and that this is a really good trade for the Colts. The only question that remains is who the Colts will get rid of to make room for Johnson. We should know later in the day.