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2020 NFL Draft: How Utah cornerback Jaylon Johnson became a top-25 prospect

Utah cornerback Jaylon Johnson is among the biggest risers on the PFF draft board since the start of the 2019 college football season. Prior to the year, some were considering Johnson as an early Day 3 option (including us) if he were to declare.

And now, here we are — saying with confidence that he is one of the best cornerbacks in this draft class and a top-25 prospect overall.

Available to all of PFF's EDGE and ELITE subscribers, PFF's 2020 NFL Draft Guide consists of over 1,000 pages loaded with background information, analysis, advanced statistics, grades, round projections, player comparisons, combine data, Senior Bowl grades and more on over 250 NFL draft prospects in the 2020 class. Click the image to get your copy today.

As a true freshman in 2017, Johnson had an immediate impact on the Utes’ secondary, allowing under a yard per coverage snap and no touchdowns with five combined pass breakups and interceptions. He was subsequently given a larger role, soon becoming one of college football’s stingiest cornerbacks over the course of the next two seasons. Johnson produced the sixth-best PFF coverage grade among FBS outside cornerbacks in that span, displaying sharp instincts and making it clear he’s a student of the game. He puts tape study into action, and there’s one play in particular that perfectly epitomizes this excellent trait of his:

After the game, Johnson said he knew what was coming with Washington’s formation and was ready to jump it. PFF’s Austin Gayle talked to him about the exact play and he broke it down in greater detail:

“For me, this is just big film study … it was something I watched all week.”

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