ESPN Draft Analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has now released his first mock draft of 2015 and he has the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting Wake Forest cornerback Kevin Johnson with the 22nd overall pick in the first round.
The Steelers are long in the tooth at cornerback and need a player who can help early at that position (not an easy ask) but will get that kind of player if Johnson is still on the board here. Johnson has outstanding instincts and always seems to have a good idea of where the ball is going. He’s got slightly above-average length and, while a lean guy, shows fearlessness as a tackler — he’s not shy about playing the run. The Steelers could also look for an edge player here coming off a season during which they had to call on James Harrison, but this is a sensible need pick.
Johnson (6-foot-0, 175 pounds) registered 44 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss in 2014 as a senior. He tied for the team lead with six pass break-ups and ended his college career with 41 starts and seven interceptions.
While Johnson has good height to play cornerback at the NFL level, he is a bit frail at 175 pounds. He seems to be fluid in his movements and looks better suited to play more off coverage than press. His play against the run will need to heavily scrutinized.
We will be breaking Johnson down thoroughly in a future post. in the meantime, feel free to chime in below with your initial likes and dislikes about him.