I had other ideas of corners to preview, but I was watching the Tyler Eifert highlights against Purdue and I could believe how well Johnson did against Eifert. A 5’9" corner shouldn’t do as well as he did against a 6’5" tight end. Johnson will probably be selected in rounds 6 or 7, but I personally would have no problem taking him in round 5.
Josh Johnson, CB, Purdue
Weight: 199 lbs
Josh Johnson is flying under the radar due to a lack luster Purdue squad this past season. In his 2012 season Johnson was named to the All-Big Ten Second-Team. He is a very confident and competitive corner.
Here is the Eifert against Purdue highlights that caught my eye. Even as you’re watching you can hear NFL Networks Mike Mayock talking about Johnson.
The first thing you notice about Johnson is how competitive he is against receivers when the ball is in the air. It also helps that he has quick feet and the ability to mirror receivers. The next thing you are able to see is that Johnson is aware in zone coverage. You can see him pointing out receivers entering and exiting his zone to not only keep himself aware, but also to keep his teammates aware. Johnson also displays the ability to undercut receivers and make a play on the ball. For his size he also do a nice job of tackling. He gets lower than the opponent due to his size and wraps up the ball carrier. For the size he is he sometimes plays bigger than he actually is.
Being 5’9" he will be overpowered and sized by bigger receivers. At times when he knows he has lost a step on his receiver he tends to get grabby and draw interference penalties. Johnson doesn’t show the ability to make the "wow" interceptions when they are presented to him. Bigger ball carriers will be problematic for him to stop. Plays faster on tape than he works out at (4.65 40 at the Combine).
Could come into the league and become an instant dime package starter, or maybe even a nickel 3rd corner option. He defiantly needs coaching and to learn how to take on receivers bigger than himself. He could be pleasant surprise to a team that drafts him late, and could surely contribute on special teams from day one.
The biggest reason I feel he would be a nice selection for the Dolphins is that he has a really good grasp of zone coverage. He also fits the same mold of corner as Brent Grimes. If he could learn how Grimes deals with bigger receivers it would be extremely beneficial for Johnson. I have seen a good amount of Dolphins mocks with Terry Hawthorne of Illinois to the Dolphins. I like Hawthorne, but he is a more obvious name out there and we all need to take a deeper look.