CB Lonnie Johnson Jr., Kentucky

6’2” – 213 lbs. – 4.52

Originally attended junior college for two seasons, then sat out the following season before transferring to Kentucky, where he started five of thirteen games as a junior (41 tackles, five passes defensed) before becoming a full-time starter and posting 23 tackles, one interception, and four breakups. Very big, tall cornerback with a long wingspan; pretty ideal combination of size and length. Although many teams may be evaluating him as a press-man/bump-and-run corner, tended to line up in off-man or shuffle coverage at the college level, offering some generous cushions. From press-man, can use his footwork to match releases at the line, but didn’t use his arms much. Was asked to backpedal at times and demonstrates quick feet, but looks more natural when shuffling, covering a lot of ground and keeping the play in front of him. Not the most explosive mover in terms of planting and driving on a spot, but has quick reaction times which serves to mitigate that lack of top-end explosiveness; could be targeted with anticipatory/timing-based throws but plays with a conservative temperament to avoid getting beat over the top. Digests route-combinations well when playing zone coverage over bunches of receivers. Looks fluid flipping his hips to turn and run with opposing receivers out of either the backpedal or the shuffle technique. Does tend to rely on his length to provide coverage down the field, as his speed may be slightly below-average for the position. A further concern may be his struggles to locate the ball when targeted down the sidelines; not quick enough to get his head around at this point in order to make plays on the ball. Consequently, it’s not so surprising that he didn’t get his hands on many passes. Leapt 38” in the vertical and 10’9” in the broad jump, both very good figures. Aside from not being asked to mix it up at the line, plays the game with some physicality. Uses his size and length to position himself well when taking on blocks, funneling runners back inside. Comes up a bit too early sometimes and creates openings for runners on the outside. Likes to come up and deliver hits on opposing receivers, although he is more physical than fundamentally sound. A very interesting prospect because of his size, fluidity, and reaction times, but who will need to do a better job of locating when targeted downfield; would like to see someone with his size and physicality playing more bump-and-run, so he could theoretically be even better as a pro than he was at the college level.

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