Today’s part of our series on potential New Orleans Saints prospects focuses on Kevin Johnson. A very talented cornerback out of Wake Forest, Johnson might come off the board anywhere from the mid-1st to the early 2nd round. But let’s take a look at the player himself first.
NFL Scouting Combine measurements:
Weight: 188 LBS
Hand size: 8 3/8 inches
40-yard dash: 4.52 seconds
Vertical jump: 41.5 inches
Broad jump: 130 inches
3-cone drill: 6.79 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 3.89 seconds
Analysis: While Johnson won’t be able to recover due to an average deep speed, few receivers will beat him with cuts and turns. Kevin Johnson is very agile and quick while possessing enough explosiveness to stand his ground in the red zone. Questions about his size and ability to play press arose as he played at roughly 180 pounds during the season. The Maryland native did gain some quality weight leading up to the combine, and I believe he will continue to do so before the regular season kicks off.
Scouting report: Johnson was asked to give a lot of cushion in college, resulting in easy receptions for the opponent on curls and out routes. When a receiver made the catch, the redshirt senior came up in a hurry to bring him down. Johnson barely was barely ever beat in man coverage, partly thanks to his physicality (flagged nine times for 132 yards in 2013 and 2014). I have doubts as to how Johnson can help in run support due to his light frame, but he never shied away from contact and is a great competitor.
Synopsis: In my opinion, Johnson is the cornerback in this class with the best technique. His backpedal is fun to watch and how quickly he covers ground to come up and make the tackle is just as impressive. When he will be selected come April 30 can only be estimated as teams perceptions on fellow players might differ. If he is on the board when the Saints pick again at 31, I would be very confident that he could contribute right away on special teams and in the slot thanks to his agility. Kevin Johnson could help replace Brandon Browner on the outside in the long run.
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