With the 99th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs selected LB Nico Johnson from the University of Alabama.
Johnson (6'2, 248-lbs) should be a perfect fit in Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton's 3-4 scheme, a system he excelled in while playing for head coach Nick Saban's Crimson Tide. It didn't take Johnson long to find playing time during his freshman season in 2009, recording three starts in 12 games, helping the Tide capture the BCS title.
His play earned freshman All-SEC honors, totaling 28 tackles, 4.5 for loss on the year.
He earned six starts in both his sophomore and junior seasons, playing in every game and totaling 80 tackles, 10 for loss.
His 2012 campaign included five starts, while playing in all 13 games, finishing fourth on the team with 55 tackles. He also forced two fumbles and broke up a pass.
Johnson leaves Alabama as a three-time BCS title winner and hungry for an opportunity to help the Chiefs.
"I'm just ready to get to work," Nico Johnson admitted.
"I'm ready to get there and learn as much as possible and try to earn their respect as much as possible."
The four years spent at Alabama will continue to pay off as he joins his new team.
"I'm just thankful that I went through the (Alabama) program with coach Saban and coach Smart, because it prepared me very well," Johnson said. "I feel like I'm a step ahead of a lot of the others guys, so I'm going to take advantage of my opportunity."
Johnson humbly admitted that he doesn't wear any of his three championship rings (still awaiting the third from the latest tile win against Notre Dame), because of a mindset that he is always "trying to improve for the next one."
Johnson's drive comes from his mother, "Mamie", who passed away in June of 2010.
"Every day I went out, after seeing her for the first time with type 2 diabetes, every day I went out from that point on was for her," Johnson said. "This day is really for her. She wanted me not only to get a degree but to take advantage of every opportunity I had; it just means the world to me. I'm just glad to be a Chief."
Johnson is one month away from becoming the first in his family (four siblings) to graduate from college, majoring in Criminal Justice.