Quite a few prospects benefited from the bright lights surrounding Clemson’s national championship run. One of which being safety Jadar Johnson.
Unlike many draft prospects, Clemson safety Jadar Johnson didn’t get a lot of playing time early in his collegiate career. While his production was minimal, he exploded in 2016. Finishing the season with 60 tackles (two for loss), seven pass breakups, and five interceptions. His impact in the secondary played a big role in Clemson’s run at redemption. His production earned him first-team All-ACC honors, and he has quietly become one of the top safety prospects in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Jadar Johnson has a lot of attractive traits and a skill set that should appeal to multiple teams, but will those talents translate to the NFL level?
Weight: 205 lbs
40-yard: 4.60 seconds
Vertical: 33 inches
Jadar Johnson looks the part of an NFL system, with good size and strength for the position. He is an explosive athlete with the ball skills to contribute as a free safety. Demonstrates good instincts and ability to read the quarterback. Does an excellent job tracking the ball on deep throws. Plays with good anticipation and rarely gets too grabby with receivers. Good football intelligence, seemingly understanding how to challenge routes.
Jadar Johnson, while possessing the size and frame of an NFL safety, needs to improve against the run. Doesn’t play as physical his appearance would indicate. Doesn’t always finish the tackle, instead relying on teammates to help. The bulk of his production came during 2016, likely leading many to believe there is a risk of a “one-hit wonder.”
Johnson’s size, range, and ball skills make him one of the more intriguing safeties in this draft. His production was substantial in 2016, despite a lack of playing time earlier in his career. He will need to convince teams that he isn’t just the benefactor of those around him and that his talents will shift to the NFL level. He’ll have an immediate impact on special teams, which should help scouts and coaches respect his versatility.