The Cowboys appearance to be inside the market for a talented protection to play across from Xavier Woods inside the lower back cease of the secondary. There are some unfastened sellers out there that Dallas ought to take a look at, but there also are numerous proficient beginners in this draft elegance. We’ve already scouted Taylor Rapp and Juan Thornhill, however these days the participant to awareness on is Florida’s Chauncey Gardner-Johnson.
Gardner-Johnson became a three-yr starter for the Gators, playing everywhere in the area at both protection positions and at the same time as a slot cornerback. He in no way had less than two interceptions in any of those years. Simply put, Gardner-Johnson is a ballhawk and he knows it. Looking at his 2018 tape, Gardner-Johnson is aggressive whilst playing the ball and could in no way not go for the interception, which may be dangerous on occasion. However, he usually made the play in university.
He does his quality insurance work in sector, and specially in zones which are towards the road of scrimmage. He has a brief burst from his stance that lets in him smash at the ball, however unlike different shielding backs along with his athleticism, he doesn’t chew on routes too early in sector insurance but rather is patient and waits till the ball is out of the quarterback’s hand to make his flow.
Gardner-Johnson wasn’t used too much as a deep safety in sector at Florida, which is strange because he seems to have correct velocity and range that might make him a terrific fit as a center-area kind of guy. His ball competencies are also enough to where you’d think he may want to snag loads greater interceptions in the unmarried high spot.
He isn’t as first-rate in guy coverage, although, although he’s nevertheless higher at it than your average safety. His speed and body give him a high ability as a man insurance defender, specifically with the method Kris Richard teaches, however Gardner-Johnson’s eagerness to make a play at the ball additionally makes him prone to double moves from receivers in guy coverage. Most of the large plays he gave up in university have been due to that. But higher staying power and discipline can clear up that trouble.
With how gifted Gardner-Johnson is in coverage, I changed into amazed at simply how gifted he is playing the run, too. I didn’t watch tape from his 2017 season but reputedly Gardner-Johnson made large strides in this street. He takes actually desirable angles and packs quite a few power at the back of his hits. He doesn’t regularly omit tackles, but his wrap up competencies and hand usage in tackling is handiest common. Other draft potentialities like Rapp and Thornhill are higher run defenders, however Gardner-Johnson can extra than keep his very own.
Gardner-Johnson also confirmed a wonderful capability at rushing the passer as a blitzer off the edge. He had three sacks closing 12 months, which is not some thing you usually see from a protection. Safety blitzes are a issue that Dallas used semi-frequently final 12 months beneath Richard’s watch, and Gardner-Johnson’s potential to get home on those blitzes is valuable.
Overall, Gardner-Johnson is a versatile talent who can make plays anywhere inside the secondary. If the Cowboys had been to get him inside the draft, he’d pair well with Woods, as each have the flexibility to play each protection positions, slot cornerback, and are available off the road of scrimmage as a blitzer. Richard and Rod Marinelli might have a number of fun pairing those two together. The question is that if the Cowboys will also be capable of get Gardner-Johnson, although. I had him being taken at 61st usual in my first 3-spherical mock draft, with Dallas passing on him to take the 3-approach of the future Renell Wren, whose inventory has been shooting up.
As the draft technique is going on, even though, Gardner-Johnson could shoot up draft boards along with his athleticism, and he won’t even be to be had at the Cowboys’ 58th pick by the point the draft comes by means of. However, if the Cowboys determine he’s their guy, they’ll in all likelihood ought to use their 2nd spherical select on him as Gardner-Johnson shouldn’t remaining lengthy.