The Pittsburgh Steelers reportedly had four people present for the Wake Forest Pro Day Monday to get a good look at cornerback Kevin Johnson and Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer reports that the group, which apparently included general manager Kevin Colbert and defensive backs coach Carnell Lake, wasn’t just watching from afar.
“Steelers representatives spent nearly 15 minutes talking with Johnson’s parents on the sideline, and they also spoke at length with [head coach Dave] Clawson before he addressed the media,” reports Jones.
As expected, Clawson talked glowingly of Johnson on Monday.
“He’s a tall corner who can run. He’s rangy and he can play press. He has the quickest hips of anybody I’ve ever seen,” Clawson said, according to Jones.
“(An NFL team is) going to get a guy that loves football, works at it and is a really gifted player. He’s long, he has range, he can run, he’s got ball skills. And he’s just a really good football player and a good human being.”
At the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine, Johnson measured in at just over 6’0″ and weighed 188 pounds. He ran a 4.52 second 40-yard-dash while in Indianapolis with 1.60 second 10-yard split.
In his latest positional rankings released on Monday, Mike Mayock of the NFL Network has Johnson listed as his No. 4 cornerback behind Trae Waynes, Jalen Collins and Marcus Peters. The Steelers, however, might very well have Johnson ranked higher and there’s a chance they could be targeting in the first round with the 22nd overall selection. If not taken in the first round, it’s hard to imagine that the Steelers would get a shot at drafting Johnson in the second round unless they were to trade up. Time will tell.
Johnson, who will turn 23 in August, played in 46 games during his college career and registered 190 total tackles to go along with 35 passes defensed and seven interceptions. He was, however, redshirted during his sophomore season in 2011 after being declared academically ineligible for the year.
The Steelers haven’t drafted a cornerback in the first round since they selected Chad Scott out of Maryland in the 1997 NFL Draft.