Jaylon Johnson was a key component on a Utah defense that was 2nd best in the nation in yards allowed per game and 6th nationally in points allowed per game.
Johnson was a 2019 second-team AP All-American and a two-time All-Pac-12 CB. Over his career, he has 7 interceptions and 21 passes defended. He became known as one of the top defensive backs in the country.
With Bashaud Breeland, Kendall Fuller, and Morris Claiborne set to hit free agency, the Chiefs could be looking at cheaper options in the NFL Draft. While many scouts do not have a first-round grade on Johnson, he could still potentially be on the board for the Chiefs late in the second round if they choose to not go with a defensive back with pick 32.
Johnson thrives on the outside in press man coverage. His length, physicality, and athleticism help him match up against bigger receivers, an obvious must in today’s NFL. His ball skills provide potential to be a playmaker in the back end at the next level. Despite some inconsistencies, he has shown flashes of being a solid tackler and he helps out in the run game.
Johnson can sometimes be too aggressive down field, which could lead to some penalties in the league as he adjusts and learns. He has also struggled when giving cushion, often getting beat in the short passing game. There is room for improvement in his zone coverage as well. The smaller the area he needs to cover in the zone game, the more likely he is to succeed.
Johnson will find a role no matter where he goes. With Kansas City potentially losing up to three CBs to free agency and a lack of cap space, Johnson could be a low-cost pickup who could thrive with tight, physical, outside coverage while the guys up front get home.
Projected Draft Round: 2nd
Player Grade: B