DB Jaquan Johnson, Miami (FL)

5’10” – 191 lbs. – 4.69

Appeared in all thirteen games as a true freshman, then started five of thirteen games the following year before becoming a full-time starter as a junior, leading the team in tackles and intercepting four passes. Led the team in tackles again and added another two interceptions as a senior. Size is on the small size for a pro safety; looks more like a nickel defender. Lined up all over the field for the Hurricanes: as a single-high safety, lined up over opposing receivers on the outside, or closer to the line of scrimmage as more of a box player. Plays with an energetic, physical on-field temperament that should endear him to teams. Didn’t backpedal too much but has quick feet to get depth. Able to keep the play in front of him and diagnose in time to make an impact on the play. Capable of functioning as an enforcer over the middle of the field. Impressive ability to plant and drive on a spot; good burst to close and bring down opposing ballcarriers. Loves to come up and deliver big hits or support the run. Angles can be pretty aggressive but plays with strong instincts and is frequently around the ball, as his two seasons as the Hurricanes’ leading tackler would suggest. Compensates for his size with physicality and generally effective wrap-tackling technique, although he will sometimes resort to making hits without wrapping in congested areas. Does a good job of attacking blocks and generating force with his explosiveness; able to sniff out screens and put himself in position to make tackles. In coverage, would like to see him do a better job of getting his head around and locating the ball; intercepted six passes over the past two years but saw him targeted on throws in which he turned his back and didn’t locate. Lack of size/length may limit the amount of pro receivers he’ll be able to match up against. Ability to handle single-high is something of a question; was more of a downhill player during the games reviewed and has good, not great top-end speed. Well-suited temperamentally to a special-teams role early in his career. A prospect who’s easy to love because of his appealing combination of energy, instincts, and physicality, he may not have the type of size teams are looking for, but it’s hard to imagine someone who’s around the ball as much as he is being unable to find a role at the next level.

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