Southern University Cornerback Danny Johnson
Welcome back to The B&G Report. With Free Agency winding down, the Redskins need to focus on finding a few late round gems to fill out a their roster. Some fans believe that the Redskins haven’t made themselves a better team in Free Agency. Trading for QB Alex Smith, signing receiver Paul Richardson and bringing back ILB’s Zack Brown & Mason Foster made this team better
Signing former Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick was purely an attempt to add veteran depth at a big discount. Former Giants CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie would have been the better option. The bottom line is he demanded over $6 mil a year. Per contract language, the Redskins can move on from Scandrick in 2019 with next to no CAP hit.
Fans must keep in mind that another wave of available veterans will soon follow. Redskins acquired Desean Jackson and Josh Norman based on late offseason cuts once upon a time. So the Skins will do more once the draft concludes. As for now it’s time to focus on the draft and the prospects that could fit in Washington.
Today The Burgundy and Gold Report Report will analyze Southern University Cornerback Danny Johnson. Mid-Late round prospects build a lasting foundation for teams, which is why extra attention must be dedicated to the lesser known prospects and The B&G Report will continue to bring that to you. We shine the spotlight on Small School dynamo Danny Johnson, so let’s get to it!
Although his level of competition leaves a lot to be desired, Johnson excelled vs bigger receivers with exceptional leaping ability. Johnson accrued 55 pass break ups, 16 ints (tied for FCS record for career interceptions) and returned 2 for touchdowns during his time at Southern U. He also lined up at receiver, recording 3 receptions for 54 yards and 1 touchdown. The Southern U defensive back finished his College career with 6 total touchdowns, which isn’t that impressive until you take a deeper look. Johnson had 2 TD’s off of ints, 1 receiving TD, 1 punt return TD, 1 passing TD and 1 rushing TD.
Johnson certainly showed his versatility as a Swiss Army Knife of sorts, but also showed what he could do with a creative offensive scheme. Earning Third Team All American and First Team All-SWAC in 2016 we’re just some of his accomplishments during his collegiate career.
At the Senior Bowl many Scouts and GM’s walked away impressed with Johnson’s potential. He finished the game with 1 tackle and 1 pass break up. Not eye popping my numbers mind you, but he was solid and seemed to always be in good position versus pass catchers. He looked particularly good, when he faced the bigger and more accomplished All Star game receivers.
Although no Southern University Football player has been drafted since 2004, Johnson looks to break that trend. Some were surprised when he received an invite to the annual NFL Combine, but again teams were impressed with his Senior Bowl play and upside.
Johnson’s sideline to sideline speed should have scouts raving. Johnson unofficially clocked at 4.35 per reports by Combine onlookers, so I tend to believe that’s closer to his true timed speed. (4.44 Combine)
The Southern University cornerback’s 5’9 181 lbs frame and level of competition is what concerns GM’s. Although his arm length of 31 1/8 inches is impressive for his size, many teams will not be able to get past his height and ability to run with bigger/stronger NFL pass catchers.
Johnson’s 123.00 inch combine broad jump and 15 reps on the bench press, displays his explosiveness and strength which shows up on his film. His Senior Bowl performance and interviews could propel his Draft stock into rounds 5-6. That is a decent jump from previously being viewed as a Late 7th Round-UDFA.
Fit in Washington
Washington has lacked a productive Kick/Punt Returner for years. Jamison Crowder showed promise in 2016 as the Skins primary Punt Returner, but looked out of place and hesitant in 2017. I believe that’s mainly due to Crowder becoming the Skins primary Slot Receiver. It’s not a lack of effort on Crowders part, but more about him taking less risks in the return game. This is where Danny Johnson fits in.
After trading Kendall Fuller and letting Bashaud Breeland walk in Free Agency, cornerback depth all of a sudden became a concern. Well the Redskins signed former Cowboy CB Orlando Scandrick for depth and potentially to play Nickel Corner. Based on contract language and incentives, Scandrick could be gone in 2019 if he disappoints with next to no CAP hit.
Johnson is the ideal late round cornerback/special teams returner that the Skins have lacked. Johnson could step in on day 1 as the primary punt returner, with the ability to compete with Joshua Holsey for the 5th cornerback spot. Unlike Holsey, Johnson offers versatility as an offensive weapon.
I don’t envision Johnson involved in any of the potential Alex Smith or Jay Gruden gadget plays early on, but his ability and vision as a Special Teams contributor is undeniable. Johnson finished his College career with a 17.1 per yard Punt Return Average and 21.7 Kick Return average.
Johnson needs to be a strong consideration for the Skins if he’s available when the Redskins select in rounds 5th-7th. Having a dynamic talent who can excel on special teams, compete for cornerback depth and offer an offense weapon could be enticing for Washington. He would also solve the team’s Special Teams woes of the last decade and change. If Johnson dedicates himsef to the weight room and adds more muscle, the Southern University could be the Redskkns 2018 Starting Punt Returner. In no way do I feel Johnson lacks strength, just that adds weight & muscle could help his career longevity.
Thanks for checking out another edition of The Burgundy and Gold Report. We are now less than a month away from the 2018 NFL Draft! Stay tuned for the next Reader Request Edition, which will feature Defensive Tackles Vita Vea vs Da’ron Payne, Who’s the better for on Washington?
Written By Adam Aniba