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PFF scouting report: Jadar Johnson, S, Clemson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 06: Defensive back Jadar Johnson of Clemson in action during day six of the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 6, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Name: Jadar Johnson

School: Clemson

Position fit: Free safety

Stats to know: 0 run stops in 173 snaps within 8 yards of the line of scrimmage.

What he does best:

  • Solid footwork when running with receivers.
  • Uses his size and physicality well in man coverage situations.
  • Tracks the ball well in the air and does a solid job of outplaying the receiver in the air.
  • Made some excellent plays as center field safety.
  • Gave up receptions on just 24 of 44 throws into his coverage last year with just one touchdown allowed compared to 10 total passes defended.

Biggest concern:

  • Shies away from contact, and his tackling near the LOS is poor; will limit him to a FS position.
  • Can take questionable angles to make tackles on underneath throws when he’s in single high looks.
  • Struggles changing directions effectively; too often late to close when asked to transition laterally from pedal.
  • Very poor tackler; tends to overrun plays and does not break down effectively in space.
  • Has baseline athleticism and speed but at 4.60 for the 40 and 33 inch on vertical, doesn’t compare favorably to top safeties in this year’s class.
  • Just 12 total defensive stops with 15 missed tackles in 2016.
  • Susceptible to the big gaffe; gave up receptions of over 20 yards in seven different games in 2017.

Player comparison: Duke Ihenacho, free agent

While Ihenacho flashes some ability in coverage, he struggles against the run in large part due to poor tackling. He missed 13 tackles as a rookie playing 939 snaps in 2013, then after playing just 13 snaps the following two years, missed 15 in 2016 in just 638 snaps.

Bottom line: Johnson’s ability to stay in the league looks like it will come down to if he has the athletic ability to be a full-time free safety. His inability or unwillingness, at the very least, to play the run around will pigeonhole him into a FS role. His ball skills are good, but he’s inconsistent with his angles and footwork. Because of his poor tackling he’s unlikely to be a consistent contributor on special teams.

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