6’2, 203 pounds | Free safety | Utah
Agility/Hips: Doesn’t have the best change-of-direction ability and will lose a step when he has to make a sudden movement.
Ball Skills: Johnson’s interception numbers (13 in his career) may indicate that he has very good hands for a safety. However, half of his six interceptions in 2009 came in one game. His hands are decent, but not great.
Instincts: Displayed good recognition skills at Utah as a three-year starter. Quick to decipher run and pass plays, but he’s not always the fastest to react. Has a tendency to get too excited and outrun a play.
Pass Coverage: In Utah’s scheme, Johnson was used as a center field type of safety. How deep he played helped mask his inability to change direction with ease. Struggled at times tracking the ball in the air.
Run Support: Takes very good angles when working up toward the line of scrimmage. Is aggressive in his pursuit. Used closer to the line of scrimmage as a senior
Size: Johnson has good size for the position with solid height and a decent build. Has a frame to add more bulk, but that may affect his agility. Long arms.
Speed: Has very good straight-line speed for a bigger safety. Timed at 4.58 seconds in the 40-yard dash at his pro day. Doesn’t always play up to his speed, though.
Tackling: A good form tackler who drives through the ball carrier. Really likes to lay a big hit. Can be an intimidating force in the deep back and breaks up a good amount of passes with his hitting ability. Needs to keep his head up more when tackling.
Final word: Johnson was an under-the-radar talent for the Utes. In his three years, he finished with 155 tackles, 13 pass breakups and 13 interceptions.
He played free safety at Utah, often dropping back in deep coverage. He showed in 2009 that he can play closer to the line of scrimmage, notching 29 more tackles than he did the previous year.
Johnson really isn’t great at any one particular area, but he’s very solid. He could play either strong or free safety, which increases his value some.