Round 6, Pick 211
Height: 6’0” Weight: 206lbs
Key Stat: 60 tackles, 5 interceptions, 7 breakups in 2016
In this deep class of safeties, it should have been easier to find one in the earlier rounds. Instead it seemed every round my targets went off the board right before I could pick, forcing me to put off the position to the sixth. With that said, Jadar Johnson seems like a fine consolation prize late in the draft.
He’s well-built, athletic, and savvy. His tackling isn’t great, making him look like a natural free safety, but his size says he has the physical ability if he puts his mind (heart) to it. Since run-stopping strong safeties virtually grow on trees, Johnson’s coverage makes him stand out, and that’s why he’s the pick here.
"‘Explosive height, weight, speed prospect with terrific ball skills but an inconsistent approach in run support.”"
He’s a great replacement to J.J. Wilcox, only Jadar has superior coverage and equally questionable run-stopping. Keep in mind, while Wilcox delivered big hits, he missed a ton of tackles.
My thinking is since free safeties are harder to find, I’ll pull the trigger here, offering options in centerfield while letting Jeff Heath and Kavon Frazier battle it out for Barry Church’s vacated strong safety spot.