HT: 6-1 7/8
Vertical: 35 1/2
40-yard dash: 4.61
Hometown: Stockton, Calif.
Key stats: A three-time all-Big Sky conference performer. He had five interceptions last season.
Here’s the next installment of the DRAFT SPOTLIGHT feature, which we’ll run periodically up to the NFL draft April 26-28 in New York.
The Falcons pick with the 55th pick in the second round. They also have picks in the third, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds. The first round will be held on Thursday, rounds two and three on Friday and rounds four through seven on Saturday.
Johnson is a corner with a second-round grade. His skill-set is intriguing because he can play outside, in the slot and perhaps even some safety.
He is the 60th rated player on Gil Brandt’s Hot 100 list.
Here’s a Q&A with Johnson:
Q: How do you answer teams’ questions about playing at small school?
A:If anything, turn the tape on against Tennessee. They’re an SEC team, the only D-1 team we played my senior year. Turn that tape on.
Q: What are your strengths?
A: I’m big. I’m fast. My technique is nice, being as big as I am.
Q: Do you have a preference where you play?
A: I’ll go anywhere. I played in Montana. I’ve played in every weather. Weather’s not a factor. I’ll play anywhere.
Q: Think of yourself strictly as a corner, or can you play safety too?
A: I can play any position the coach wants me to play.
Q: What do you need to prove to the pro scouts?
A: If anything, my speed, to play corner. I like to play corner. I believe I’m a shutdown corner.
Q: Did you have some interest from Pac 12 schools?
A: Yes, ASU, Cal and USC. I went to the USC camp. I went to the Cal camp. They said they were going to offer me. They never called me back. USC never called me back, either. ASU was supposed to take me on a visit, usually when they take you on a visit, they call you. They never called me back, either. I didn’t want to go to a junior college, so I went to Montana.
Q: Did that motivate you, or you were just able to move on?
A: Yes. Everything happens for a reason. I took that and ran with it.
Q: Why do you feel (your) technique is sharp despite your height?
A: Coming from a smaller school, they can say you get lazy. You can get bored, because they’re not going your way. But I believe you can always improve on your technique, and going to the next level you’re going to need that.
Q: Have teams addressed possibility of playing safety?
A: Yes sir, safety and corner.
Q: What do you think about that combination?
A: I like to play corner, but if the coach wants me to go back there and play safety, I can play safety.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog