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Florida’s Chauncey Gardner-Johnson Versatility Makes Him A High-Value Player, But Will Other Priorities Get In The Way Of Bringing Him To D.C.?

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2019 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

LSU v Florida Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, CB
School: Florida | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Junior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 5-11 / 210 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 1st - 2nd Round
NFL Comparison: Desmond King, CB, Los Angeles Chargers

College Statistics

Player Overview

Gardner-Johnson came into the University of Florida as an All-Florida first team honoree by USA Today. He played in 37 games at the UF, tallying 26 starts, nine interceptions (three touchdowns), 12 pass-breakups, 161 tackles, 15.5 tackles-for-loss, and four sacks. Gardner-Johnson earned Defensive MVP in the 2019 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl against Michigan, with two interceptions and one touchdown.

Strengths

  • Versatile, played safety a full-season due to a player’s injury. Played plenty of snaps as the slot corner. Overall - an quality athlete.
  • Physical defender in run game, willingness to hit ball-carrier and displays power in his attempts.
  • Coverage skills really good in man and zone coverage. He is most efficient in zone though where eyes are on quarterback.
  • Instinctive and rangy for a defensive back, adds to his versatility as he can move all around the defensive backfield.

Weaknesses

  • Though tackling improved with more experience, must show continued development as a professional, with faster and stronger offensive players.
  • Man coverage lapses may end up turning him into a liability in that aspect. Very aggressive in coverage.
  • Overall, a quality player, but must improve consistency.

Let’s see his work (CB #23)

How he would fit on the Redskins

Gardner-Johnson is a Swiss-Army Knife for any NFL defense. For Washington, he can serve multiple roles; playing primarily slot corner while having spot duties on the outside or at safety. His range and savvy are what creates opportunities on the football more often than your average corner. For Washington, acquiring Gardner-Johnson allows young cornerback Fabian Moreau to move to the outside, which will benefit both Moreau and the team because of his length and speed. The transition for Moreau will especially be beneficial if Quinton Dunbar will not be completely healthy by the start of the season.

Gardner-Johnson’s versatility can also allow him to have a spot role, where he is used in three to four-receiver sets, playing at the slot or free safety position, utilizing the team’s most athletic defensive backs in one package. Gardner-Johnson, like free agent acquisition Landon Collins, is an effective blitzer and can create disruption in the backfield. His awareness and timeliness would be a great addition to a defense like Washington, who needs to improve its ways of being able to get to a quarterback.