2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Jaquan Johnson
School: The University of Miami
Weight: 190 pounds
Round Projection: 2-3
In Miami’s defense, Johnson would man centerfield. As a result, he keeps the play in front, and flashes the ability to drive on the play. Regardless of play type, he will decisively take that first step. Wherever he commits, he throws his entire frame into the play. On the other hand, when singled up, Johnson stays hip-to-hip on vertical routes, daring the quarterback to test him.
As mentioned, Johnson displays the deep safety ability. Yet, he can also function near the line of scrimmage. From covering back in the flat to shadowing wideouts, he attacks each equally. Never one to rush, Johnson shows the ability of reading the play before the receivers break into the second halves of the routes. Consequently, he looks rarely surprised and out of position.
With modern safeties like Johnson, gone are the days of the big lumbering prototypes. His smooth backpedal allows him to break on underneath routes. At the same time, his hip flip gives him a real chance at turning and going vertical with anyone.
If you look at Johnson’s passes broke up stats, they do not wow anyone. Yet, he will play the ball and receiver anywhere on the field. Too many times, gaudy stats hide a player’s true impact. In Johnson’s case, his ability to disrupt the pass makes him valuable.
By watching a couple Johnson’s interception, you can see the connection between his eyes and hands. With a couple off tips, Johnson moves his hands and gets himself in prime grab position. Whether the pass veered toward or away, the adjustments matter.
Despite wearing less than 200 pounds, Johnson brings decent pop to the game. On sideline routes, he ensures the ball carrier immediately finds the ground via should. In addition, he will strip the ball by wrenching it away from the opponent. Now, he does not do this with every play, but he selectively chooses the perfect victim. When he wraps up, Johnson drops the shoulder and generates outstanding force for his size.
If you ask a doubter about Johnson’s fit with the Raiders, they will say he’s a Karl Joseph clone. First, they only share size. While Joseph thumps people, Johnson would give the Raiders a rangy playmaker that they do not have at safety. If he slides a bit, into the third, you could not argue with his selection.