Round 6: Southern CB Danny Johnson – 5-10, 185 – 4.44 – Senior
Previous pick: North Carolina CB D.J. Stewart
Although they will address the position in free agency, the Bucs need to draft and develop another cornerback because questions linger about the future of Vernon Hargreaves III. Tampa Bay’s first-round pick in 2016 will likely get one more shot at being an outside cornerback in training camp, but might be better suited to play inside at the slot position during his NFL career.
At 5-foot-10, 185 pounds Johnson is too small for some NFL team’s schemes, but he’s big enough to play in Tampa Bay’s defense. And he is fast enough to play for the Bucs with a 4.44 time in the 40-yard dash, which is faster than Hargreaves’ time of 4.5.
Johnson performed well at the Senior Bowl against better competition, and proved he belonged after recording an astounding 16 interceptions in his four years as a starter. Johnson has some Brent Grimes-like qualities to him in terms of instincts and being able to highpoint the ball on 50-50 passes and come down with the interception.
Johnson’s Southern Career Defensive Stats
2017: 55 tackles, 12 PBUs, 3 INTs, 2 TDs
2016: 57 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 9 PBUs, 7 INTs, 1 FF, 1 TD
2015: 38 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 7 PBUs, 3 INTs
2014: 40 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 11 PBUs, 3 INTs
The Jaguars used Johnson’s speed and athleticism on offense and special teams, too. As a senior, Johnson had one carry for a 5-yard touchdown, and caught two passes for 46 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown. Johnson also threw a 12-yard touchdown pass last season.
Johnson had a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown as a freshman, and returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown as a senior. Johnson could make an instant impact in Tampa Bay on special teams coverage and in the return game as a rookie. With his physical traits, nose for the ball and ability to create takeaways, Johnson could become an eventual starting cornerback for the Buccaneers and a Day 3 sleeper.