Antonio Johnson labeled Round 2 fit for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2023 NFL Draft
The Jacksonville Jaguars must address a few needs in the 2023 NFL Draft, including cornerback. But given how stacked this class is, they could afford to wait until the second round to take one. If that's the route they ultimately take on Draft Day, they would surely be thrilled if Texans A&M defensive back were available at No. 56.
Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus recently drew up a list of ideal prospects for each NFL team in the second round of the draft and he thinks Jacksonville would be the perfect fit for Johnson, who lined up at different spots on the Auggies' defense. Here's what Renner had to say.
"The Jaguars don't have many starting roles available on the roster but a safety with slot versatility like Johnson would fill one of them. Johnson played exactly that for Texas A&M the past two seasons, earning overall grades of 81.6 and 87.4. "
Johnson's versatility might be his biggest selling point. As Renner noted, he lined up at safety, nickel and even linebacker for Texas A&M. He's an oustanding tackler with the ability to drop in coverage and shadow tight ends and running backs. That kind of skill set would be appealing to a Jaguars team that struggled to defend the middle of the field last year.
On the other hand, Johnson doesn't have ideal awareness and doesn't have top-notch ball skills. Nevertheless, Joe Marino of The Draft Network thinks Johnson's ability to cover and tackle and play different spots in the back seven "make him an intriguing prospect" that could become a quality starter in the NFL.
Antonio Johnson would be solid pickup for Jacksonville Jaguars in Round 2
In addition to cornerback, the Jaguars have needs (in no particular order) at right tackle, tight end, pass rusher, and maybe offensive guard. There are different ways to address all of them and nobody will bat an eye if they waited until the second or even the third round to take a cornerback pick.
Antonio Johnson has been given a first-round value but it wouldn't be shocking to see him fall to Round 2 depending on how the draft unfolds. While having the ability to line up at multiple spots on defense should give his draft stock a boost, some teams might have a hard time figuring out how to best use him. That's where the Jaguars would need to have a solid plan in place to bring him aboard.
If they drafted Johnson, would he make the switch to nickel right off the bat or would he be grouped with the safeties? Maybe the team's brass will feel more comfortable taking a player that doesn't have to switch positions and they will most likely have a wide array of options in the first and second rounds.
Then again, Johnson's versatility can't simply be dismissed, and if he's available at No. 56, they should strongly consider selecting him and have the coaching staff put him in a position to succeed.
The Jaguars need to find a few playmakers in the draft if they want to keep up with other AFC contenders and if they think they can find the right spot for Johnson, they should go ahead and take him.