John Johnson, FS
School: Boston College | Conference: ACC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22?
Height / Weight: 6-0 / 208 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 4th Round
NFL Comparison: Morgan Burnett
John Johnson is a local kid from Hyattsville, Maryland. He went to Northwestern High School and was recruited by a few notable schools including Missouri, Pittsburgh, and of course Boston College. Johnson decided to head up north to New England and has improved every year he’s played. He is a versatile prospect with experience playing corner and safety. He always was a key contributor on special teams on kickoff and punt coverage. Johnson potentially can offer amazing mid-round value at either the corner or safety position for teams. There are no major areas for him to fix that I could identify so I wouldn’t at all be surprised if he went higher than he is currently projected. He really took a step forward in his coverage ability and production his senior season. He may have to finish baking in the over for a season but he’s ready to contribute immediately as a key special teams guy.
- Versatile player that can play free safety and patrol the deep third and play corner. He was also a big part of the coverage on kickoff and punts so he offers special teams value as well.
- Decent size for the position. Has enough height and athletic ability to challenge receivers. Is well built and can present another physical challenge in coverage. Will come up to the LOS and tackle. Fine tackler in space, squares up and aims for the center mass.
- Vision got so much better this past year you can see him spying on the QB. He was in the right place at the right time a lot but not by accident. Got the hang of staying disciplined in his zone but his timing on his breaks improved greatly.
- Good turnover production in his year as a starter. Can track the ball well and attacks the ball when it's in the air.
- Angles taken in coverage need to improve and he needs more burst out of his deep zone to provide help to corners.
- Can get engulfed when playing the run taking on blockers. Slow to disengage and loses vision.
- No one specific skill stands out in his game. Pleasantly average I suppose with a high floor. Can he take his coverage to the next level in the NFL with coaching?
Let’s see his work:
Really liking Boston College FS John Johnson. Athletic guy with good size. Can bump inside, play man, or sit in CF and play single high.— Jeff Hyde (@FilmDontLie) March 15, 2017
Boston College S John Johnson showed his versatility at #seniorbowl today by playing a little corner. Also a talented gunner.— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) January 25, 2017
John Johnson on special teams. pic.twitter.com/fPZ43XfOzp— Jared Stanger (@JaredStanger) March 25, 2017
S John Johnson (BC, 6'0", 202lbs). Does some nice work vs run, too. Weaves through traffic (struggles to disengage, though). STs guy, too. pic.twitter.com/Ihgi6Sqkog— My Colts Account (@MyColtsAccount) February 22, 2017
S John Johnson (BC, 6'0", 202lbs).— My Colts Account (@MyColtsAccount) February 22, 2017
Ball skills. pic.twitter.com/K4kbOKl5ur
More S John Johnson (BC, 6'0", 202lbs) in coverage. Recognizes TE Alizé Jones running route behind OL, stays with him. Eyes always on QB. pic.twitter.com/dLw6WeWg2D— My Colts Account (@MyColtsAccount) February 22, 2017
“I came into Boston College as a corner, I got moved to strong safety [my junior year] and I played nickel that year as well and I finished up as a free safety. So, I’m open to anything and I’m willing to do anything. I think I got the body to do it, so, we’ll see.’’
Johnson, considered an excellent special teamer, said teams have talked to him about both positions.
“Some teams said, ‘John, you’re not a safety, so get that out of your head, you’re a corner.’ Other teams asked me what I like best,’’ he said. “So the feedback was just to be open to anything as a defensive back and I’ll be ready to do both.’’ - Boston Globe
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
If for some reason the Redskins miss out on a safety on day 1 and day 2 of the draft I may want their first 4th rounder spent on John Johnson if he’s still around. Not only do I love homecomings but Johnson is a good player and would present a great value there. I don't think he would beat out Swearinger this year for the FS spot (he still needs some work) but he could definitely push for the starting role in 2018 and beyond if he takes to coaching. All indications are that he is an eager learner and his versatility helps him a lot. I’d be interested if the Redskins view him as a corner or a free safety? The latter would obviously help the team in both depth and need. Johnson can contribute immediately on special teams. If he can get coached up by Coach Gray on his angles, shedding blocks, and can make more plays on the ball he’ll be a future starter.