Cornerback has definitely been noted as a position of need for the Cowboys in the upcoming NFL draft. Especially after Byron Jones took off in free agency. That doesn’t mean Dallas needs to draft one at pick #17, it makes more sense to draft for value than for need. Today, we look at a corner they might be able to get if they wait just a bit.
Name: Jaylon Johnson
Long, physical, press cornerback with above average size at the position. Works his butt off at the line of scrimmage to force receivers to win with excellent releases. Has some impressive pop in his hands. Batters receivers throughout an entire game with violent jams. Solid athleticism given his size. Solid mirroring skills off the ball when he’s not in press situations. Length and size makes throwing windows extremely tight around his frame. Showed solid recovery skills using his athleticism and length to knock the football away. Had above average instincts in off coverage, and showed the ability to drive on the football. Has wide receiver ball skills at the catch point. Play through the receivers hands when he’s unable to take the football away. Showed willingness as a run defender, like most Utah defenders.
Athletic traits do not show up as consistent as you’d like to see. Long-speed didn’t show up a ton, and has some struggles changing directions against twitchier receivers. Hands can be a little grabby in coverage. Needs to be more patient with his jams at the line of scrimmage. Aggressiveness leads to off balance starts off-the-ball. Double moves gave him some trouble, which led to a lot of recovery.
Long, physical cornerbacks don’t grow on trees, and Johnson’s best traits are just that. Johnson has to learn to tone down some of his aggressiveness at the line of scrimmage and throughout the route-stem, but there’s a lot to like in Johnson’s game. Johnson has ideal size at the position, and pairs solid athleticism with impressive physical traits. Johnson has a chance to be drafted at the end of the first round, and should be one of the top 5-6 cornerbacks drafted in this class. Johnson could be a trade down candidate for the Cowboys if they look to move back in the first round, or an excellent value pick if he hangs around until the 51st overall pick.