6'0, 188 pounds
Kevin Johnson is one of the most fluid athletes in this entire class. He has elite change of direction ability and excels in zone coverage because of it. Johnson can click and close in the blink of an eye. In the play below, Johnson starts ten yards off of his man. He starts his pedal, but quickly breaks one the ball once the receiver makes his cut. Watch how quickly Johnson closes the gap. He reads, reacts and covers about five yards within a split second.
Johnson's fluidity really shows up in man coverage. He's able to transition from pedal to full out sprint instantly. His fluid hips and quick feet are probably the best in this class. Johnson is an ideal nickel cornerback to start, which is a position that has become extremely important over the past decade in the NFL.
Johnson is an asset in run support. He plays like his hair is on fire 100 percent of the time. He can be over aggressive at times, but I prefer guys like that. He isn't afraid to lay the wood to anyone. His attitude and competitive fire is evident every time he steps onto the field. This hit against Florida State shows you the power that Johnson can generate from his thin frame.
Johnson lacks that top end gear needed to stay on top of speedsters down the field. Because of this you'll see him get grabby at times. He'll draw some flags at the next level for this. This is the best example that I could find of this. Johnson starts this play nicely, flipping his hips with ease. He gets up to speed with Greene, but starts to lose some ground through his strides. He grabs a handful of jersey to compensate. This will be flagged every time in today's pass friendly NFL.
Defensive coordinators will love Kevin Johnson. His motor never quits running. Johnson's quick feet and change of direction skills will keep him productive in the league for years to come. He'll be better in zone coverage or in the slot to start, but I think he has plenty of ability to play on the outside. Wake Forest played him in off man coverage most of the time, so he has some work to do in learning how to play press man coverage. With his excellent lateral agility and quick feet, this shouldn't be an issue. Johnson is currently my number two corner behind Marcus Peters.