As the 2021 NFL Draft draws closer and closer, the needs for all NFL teams will be scrutinized even more than they already have been.
One need that still exists for the Las Vegas Raiders is to add a safety who can defend the deep part of the field.
One player the Raiders could look at has emerged as a fringe first-round prospect, Indiana safety Jamar Johnson.
The 6-1, 197-pound Johnson would earn a starting role for the Hoosiers in his sophomore season, filling in as the team’s top slot cornerback.
He played 13 games but was only on the field for 305 snaps that season.
Johnson didn’t waste the limited time he had, racking up 25 total tackles, three sacks and two interceptions, including a pick-six.
He would then be shifted to safety for the 2020 season and to patrol the back end for the Hoosiers.
Johnson adjusted well, playing in eight games and compiling 42 tackles, one sack and a career-high four interceptions.
He graded out as well above average in both the slot and at safety, ranking 45th or better by Pro Football Focus in 2019 and 2020 out of at least 458 eligible players.
Johnson has been described as graceful with his athleticism and has the ability to explode to the ball from anywhere he’s set up.
Scouts also note how Johnson was able to make “wow” level plays on tape from every role he played on the Hoosiers defense.
The fundamentals could be an early issue, as Johnson has missed 18 tackles on 80 attempts.
Then there’s the fact that he doesn’t have nearly as many snaps under his belt as other similar players.
However, the talent that Johnson has in coverage is something that can’t be denied.
He might need some seasoning early, but Johnson has the potential to be a ballhawk in the NFL.
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