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Cornerback Kevin Johnson: NFL Draft Profile

Why do NFL scouts love Kevin Johnson so much?

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Johnson

Height: 6'0"

Weight: 188 pounds

Arm Length: 31"

Hands: 8 3/8"

40 Yard Dash: 4.52 seconds

Vertical Jump: 41.5"

Broad Jump: 130 inches

3 Cone Drill: 6.79 seconds

20 Yard Shuttle: 3.89 Seconds


Lean, athletic build and is a legitimate NFL athlete with natural cover skills. Very light on his feet, showing great quickness and fluidity to turn and run with receivers when in man coverage, as well as excellent downhill burst back to the ball for zone.

He keeps his head on a swivel and doesn't panic when the ball is in the air, showing good timing on his leaps and the hand-eye coordination to pick off the pass. Johnson is aggressive and will bait quarterbacks, showing a terrific burst back to the ball.

CBS Sports

Smooth hips with excellent balance. Very natural in man coverage. Has feet and discipline to play square and mirror against complex routes. Has low, controlled backpedal. Disruptive in press coverage -- alters routes and slows receivers. Can easily transition laterally and has quick-twitch to break on throws in front of him. Flips hips and accelerates against vertical routes. Crowds wideouts on perimeter and constricts target area for deep boundary throws. Plays stronger than his listed weight. Has athleticism and enough speed to recover when beaten. Decisive player. Fights to disengage and support against the run. Willing to drop shoulder and lay lumber as zone defender. Usually followed opponent's best receiver around the field.


In coverage, Johnson does show occasional over-aggression, getting burned on double-moves by speedy receivers. Good height and competes in jump-ball situations, but he may struggle in this regard against the behemoths playing receiver in today's NFL.

Where his lack of size shows up most is in run support. Needs to show more awareness and aggression in fighting through blocks, as well as the toughness to deliver forceful hits on the ball-carrier.

CBS Sports

Has a lanky frame with a very thin lower body. Gets fooled by head fakes downfield and turned around too often. Late to turn and find ball at times. Missed too many tackles as senior. Thin frame a concern as NFL run supporter. Will show too much respect to deep speed and allow separation by receivers who slam on brakes and catch passes in front of him. Ejected from Louisville game for targeting. Flagged nine times for 132 yards over the last two seasons.


Kevin Johnson is a durable, 4-year starter, who is a legitimate 1st round talent. He lacks elite speed, but it's still good enough. He was very productive during his four years, and performed well against excellent ACC competition. In a league that continues to emphasize the passing game, defenses are going to need to place a priority on elite pass rushers and shut down corners. KJ fits that mold and can be an impact player for a long time in this league. He's tall, and now weighs nearly 190 pounds, which will allow him to stay healthy in the league. When your favorite NFL team drafts Kevin tonight, then you should stand up and applaud your general manager for making an excellent decision.