Feet - Features excellent foot speed relative to his size. With that said, Johnson commits far too many false steps that allow receivers to gain leverage advantages on him. Economy of motion is poor in transitions, often bubbling and increasing the separation for the receiver.
Man Coverage - Has likable traits in terms of speed and size to win in man coverage but his inconsistent pattern-matching skills are problematic. Rarely anticipates route breaks and he’s in a perpetual state of recovery.
Tackling - Has some impressive reps but there are disappointing moments that reveal passiveness. Doesn’t consistently play to his weight class. When he’s committed form and contact power can be beautiful.
IQ/Awareness - Wires get crossed defending bunch sets. Doesn’t anticipate route breaks effectively and finding the ball in the air is a challenge. Slow to ID run plays and unreliable defending the d-gap.
Physicality - Has the frame to thrive with the physical components of the position but that’s not always the case. Powerful tackles are marred by business decisions. Can be slow and passive to involve himself with defending the d-gap. Foot work isn’t clean enough for him to be more aggressive at the line of scrimmage or at the top of routes.
Ball Skills - Plays the man and not the ball. Has poor ball production in college, primarily because he simply isn’t in position to truly make plays on the ball. Size, length and background at receiver in high school are positives but he’s got to be more sticky in coverage to produce.
Press Technique - Has the tools to be successful but his technique is erratic. Doesn’t balance himself well, hands are late, strikes are elongated and the placement of his hands is all over the place. Needs to play with better leverage.
Flexibility - Too much gather in transitions and when flipping his hips. Doesn’t hinge and pivot with rapid fluidity, primarily on account of playing too tall in his pedal.
Versatility - Has the physical traits to thrive in press coverage but his technique needs an overhaul. Likely best suited to cover deep thirds. Needs to develop more consistency in run support.
BEST TRAIT - Size
WORST TRAIT - Man Coverage
RED FLAGS - None
When you ask the create a cornerback machine to deliver a press-man corner, they come out looking like Johnson. With that said, his erratic technique in press and inconsistent mirroring skills in man are problematic. His length and movement skills translate well to duties in C2/C3, but his ball skills are a notable concern. As it stands, Johnson is all tools that needs considerable development to become more reliable in coverage. Johnson has starter upside and appeal but it could be a bumpy road.
Round Grade - Early Day Three