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2017 NFL Draft Profile: Clemson Safety Jadar Johnson

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A four-year player for the Clemson Tigers, safety Jadar Johnson heads into the NFL Draft with a lot of potential and may be one of those under the radar players that the talking heads aren’t saying much about. Right now Johnson is considered to be a 5th to 6th round pick.

Jadar Johnson Career Stats

Season Games Tackles Tackles for Loss Passes Broken Up QB Hurries Sacks Interceptions Forced Fumbles
Season Games Tackles Tackles for Loss Passes Broken Up QB Hurries Sacks Interceptions Forced Fumbles
2013 11 9 0 0 0 0 0 2
2014 12 12 2 1 1 1 2 0
2015 15 15 0.5 1 1 0 2 0
2016 15 61 2 7 0 0 5 0

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 206 lbs.

40 yard Dash: 4.60

The biggest thing Johnson has going for him is that he looks like an NFL safety. He’s got the height and weight to play in the NFL and he’s got good speed to go with it. A 4.60 40 time along with an excellent 11.50 60 yard shuttle will have teams considering him based on physical ability alone. As we’ve seen time and time again in the draft just having the physical tools to play in the NFL should get you drafted.

Johnson has proven football production too. One of the striking things for Johnson this year is that despite having 12 passes defensed and 5 interceptions, he was only called for defensive pass interference once. That shows a level of football knowledge that allows him to play defense while avoiding costly penalties. In the current version of the NFL that is an important ability that teams will like to have.

The two weaknesses for Johnson are his run support as well as the lack of tape. Johnson was a starter for one season and while his tape in 2016 is pretty good, teams will be a little leery with such little tape and that is part of why he may not go much higher in the draft.

The run support questions about Johnson are a much bigger problem. Johnson takes poor angles to the ball and isn’t the most physical safety in the draft pool. He also shows a little hesitation in getting after the ball carrier. Several scouts have indicated that they see him making assumptions that teammates will finish a tackle and Johnson will pull up. But again, in today’s NFL stopping the run isn’t as big of an issue for safeties. Still a needed skill, but it isn’t like even 10 years ago when Johnson could have been an undrafted free agent because of his perceived weakness there.

For Johnson this weekend will definitely see him drafted. The question is if he’s done enough since the NFL Combine to see an improvement in his draft ranking. But once he is drafted Johnson has the physical tools and pass defense to become a starting safety in the NFL, the only question is going to be if he can adjust to the NFL game.