Weight: 210 lbs
Injury History: No Major Injury History
Games Evaluated: 2018: Penn State, Florida, Georgia, Texas A&M
Scout: Roy Countryman
Long, lanky and aggressive cover man who plays with an attitude and swagger. Has solid transitional skills and foot quickness, but his ability to flip and follow quick WRs laterally will put him at a disadvantage. Has good deep speed and long arms to disrupt the ball at its catch point and has the ability to play sticky coverage with his assignments vertically if given the opportunity to play off coverage.
Generally, stays low in his backpedal, but struggles to flip his hips in an instant and stick to his assignment without giving up separation.
Deep Speed: 6.80
Has good long speed to stick on WR's hip pocket down the field vertically and with his length it allows him to disrupt a good amount of passes.
Does not possess a lot of explosive qualities in his skill set rather he is a feisty cover man who thrives on getting physical with his assignment and being persistent nag throughout the route. He will lay impactful hits in pursuit and try and dislodge the ball when given the opportunity.
Struggles to stay balanced when asked to try and mirror quicker WR's. He will get off balanced and grab his assignment until he can get himself back under control and back into the play. When asked to play off he plays with a bail technique to allow himself time to mask his lack of elite hip fluidity.
Coverage Ability: 6.52
Man Press: 6.10
Very physical in Man Press off the LOS with a strong one- or two- handed jam to disrupt the timing of the play. When he gets his jam, it allows himself time to get into a strong trail position to carry the WR through his route vertically. If asked to cover lateral based routes he struggles to keep close with quicker WRs due to a lack of great hip fluidity.
Man Off: 6.80
One of the coverages he excels at due to being able to give cushion and play from a bail technique where he is partially turned. He will still be aggressive and early in the route to try and disrupt the tempo of the route and since he is already in a strong coverage position he can use his instincts to flow to the ball quicker without giving as much separation.
He is a strong zone defender due to his intelligence, instincts, and his aggressiveness to jump routes. He understands route concepts and how WR's try to work themselves open which allows him the time to read and react to the play. Strong pursuit defender and will pass off assignments without a lot of lag. At times though he allows too much cushion in off coverage and WRs will get a quick hitter and be upfield before he can fly down in pursuit.
Hand Fighting: 7.10
Terrific jam specialist that will uncoil on WR's when he gets a chance to line up on the LOS. Has shown a willingness to use either a one- or two- handed strike then transition into a strong trail technique to be able to keep tight coverage.
Hips/Turn Ability: 5.60
Adequate hip fluidity and it shows when asked to cover quicker WRs laterally. They will get a step inside until he can fully turn and run with them giving them a good amount of separation for their QB to hit them for a lot YAC.
Play Making: 6.40
Closing Quickness: 6.70
Has the ability to close distances in short order with a nice burst when the ball is in the air. His length and short area quickness allows him to recover and be in a position to be close to the ball.
Ball skills: 5.70
Length allows him the ability to make a lot of disruptive plays at the catch point, but simply does not come down with the amount of INT's as he should. He puts himself in good position for turnovers, but only had one INT while at Kentucky, and only 5 in his years at his Junior College. Simply does not possess above average catching skills.
Route/play Diagnosis: 6.80
Terrific recognition skills and instincts on how WR's are trying to work themselves open against him. He adjusts his drops and depth of backpedal in response to repeated successes of the WR.
Run Support: 6.67
Quickness Upfield: 6.40
Inconsistent in his pursuit, at times comes screaming downhill trying to blow up ball carriers and the next play he will give a poor effort in even trying to come and fill his rushing lane. When he is motivated, he can come up with some bone-jarring hits that dislodge the ball.
Fight Through Blocks: 6.50
Willing to fight with WR's that block him and his length give him an advantage to shed blocks. He also has a feisty playing demeanor that shows when he continually battles the same WR all day.
Is a sound tackler who either faces up and brings down ball carrier or will go for a striking blow low on the ball carrier. He also shows the ability to punch at the ball to try and cause a fumble.
Tough-minded and aggressive cover man who does not get intimidated by anyone he matches up with. Great bounce back ability if he does get beat to come back and grind some more.
Only provided marginal production while at Kentucky with only 1 INT to his name and only 9 PD. His tackling numbers were solid with 41 total in 2017 and even less in 2018 with 23.
In coverage he gives very good effort on a down to down basis, but in run pursuit he can have stretches where he seems disinterested in flowing to the ball. Needs to ratchet up intensity in that aspect to the level he plays with in coverage.
Has a great feel for where the ball is going as well as how WR's are trying to beat him. Will trust his eyes and click and close when he gets the chance, but he goes for the big hit or PD too often when he should be going to make a play on the ball. Can be baited by double moves or pump fakes and he will get grabby when beat or he will at times struggle to get his head around when trying to recover.
Was not asked to play a wide variety of positions playing the majority of his snaps as the RCB on the outside, but has experience and knowledge of how to play from multiple coverage schemes and techniques. Knows his weakness and uses his strengths to mask them.
Part of a very talented secondary at Kentucky and was one of the reasons why they had a great 2018 campaign due to the leadership and tenacity he and his teammates showed. Led by example.
Johnson has all the ingredients to make a defensive coordinator that plays press zone salivate. Terrific arm length, height, and feistiness throughout the duration of the route, and a willingness to uncoil on WR's at the LOS. Even with a lack of elite fluidity he sticks on his assignment's hip pocket downfield due to his intelligence and instincts. Shows the ability to be a standout run defender when motivated and will punch at the ball trying to cause a FF. When he is in zone coverage, he passes off assignments with ease and his processing skills are very good.
He has less than ideal hip fluidity that he masked by lining up in a half-turned technique where he could get around easier. Really struggles to carry quicker WRs laterally because of his stiffness and will give up a good amount of separation. Will get too grabby downfield at times because he struggles to consistently get his head around. Gives too much cushion in zone and WRs will make him pay on quick hitters that they take for big gains on RAC. Really only played RCB, and does not have position versatility. He also needs to ratchet up his intensity in run defense so that he is a more consistent presence in run pursuit.
Lonnie Johnson is the ultimate wildcard of a draft pick, his tape was not that impressive, but live at the Senior Bowl he was one of the standout performers. He has all the ingredients of a very skilled press zone CB, but you have to have a plan for him to succeed at the next level. You will have to put him in situations where his skill set can excel and limit his plays against the variety he struggles with. I could see him going as high as the 2nd Round if someone falls in love with his Senior Bowl performance and think they can help him sustain that level of play, but more likely I see him coming off the board in the 3rd-5th round area.
Team Fits: Seahawks, Jaguars, Falcons, 49ers, Rams, Steelers
NFL Comp: Ike Taylor