The New York Giants 2012 NFL Draft Profile continues with Montana cornerback Trumaine Johnson. The Giants could be without Deon Grant in 2012—he is still an unrestricted free agent. If that is the case the Giants will need someone to step up so they can run their 4-2-5 defense on passing downs. Grant was a backup but was on the field as much as any starter. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell used his strengths well by bringing his three safeties on the field as often as he could.
The Giants have a few candidates that could fill the void left by Grant. 2011 sixth round pick Tyler Sash impressed Fewell in training camp. He had the opportunity to work with the first team with injuries to the starters in camp.
There is also 2010 3rd round pick Chad Jones, who has made a miraculous recovery from his near fatal car crash two years ago. He has not been cleared by team doctors, but is at the team facility rehabbing and close to returning to action.
Johnson is a second or third round prospect despite playing at the FCS level. He played cornerback for Montana but projects better as a free safety at the next level. He has cornerback athleticism with a safety body.
He reads the quarterbacks eyes very well and reacts fast to make plays on the ball. He mostly played off receivers, allowing him to use those instincts to collect 15 interceptions in his four years. He has great play recognition and is a natural pass catcher. Johnson also moves well with the ball in space and offers upside as a return man.
Johnson gets taken out of run plays easily and does not fight off blocks well. He does not give up on plays, but can get in trouble looking for the big hit instead of wrapping up. When he does try to wrap up he shows good technique tackling. Johnson is an excellent blitzer from the outside but can get caught staring down the quarterback at times, over-pursuing on run plays.
All in all, Johnson is a smart, savvy four-year starter who could make an instant impact with some coaching.
Questions or comments can be sent to email@example.com
Follow Jeff on Twitter @Jeff_Shull