2012 Who Ya Gonna Draft? – Trumaine Johnson

PJD is on vacation. During this time, we’ve decided we’ll take a quick look at potential Minnesota Vikings draft picks for the second or later rounds. With so many needs and so many draft picks to get this team back to a place where we can at least pretend they are respectable, we’ll have plenty of ground to cover. Let us know what you think of each prospect in the comments, and whether or not they’d be a good fit or impact player, and of course if you can think of a funny nickname for them.

Today, we look at Montana cornerback Trumaine Johnson.

From ESPN’s draft analysis, who probably knows just as much about anything to do with Montana as I do:

Overall Football Traits

Production 1 2008: (11/3)  21-4-4 2009: (11/10) – 54-12-5 2010: (11/9) – 44-7-4 Career (2008-’10) – 8 KORs-178-22.2-0.
Height-Weight-Speed 1 “Rare blend of height, weight and top-end speed. “
Durability 4 Sustained season-ending injury in 2008. Missed four games with an injury in 2009. (Missed 2009 Sacramento State game with a head injury sustained during a practice)
Intangibles 4 Recruited to play receiver but moved to corner second day of practice. Co-recipient of team’s outstanding back or receiver award in 2010. Montana head coach Robin Pflugrad said that Johnson needed to work on consistency in practice. Missed some practice time in the spring of 2011 to work on academics.

1 = Exceptional2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal

Cornerback Specific Traits

Instincts/Recognition 3 “Read quarterback and flashed the ability to get an early break on the ball. Step slow recognizing high-low route combinations and can drift downfield when has underneath responsibilities in zone coverage. However, overall route recognition is average. Can bite on play action.”
Cover Skills 3 Fluid hips for corner his size and fast enough to run with receivers when forced to turn and run. More than enough range to cover deep third. Footwork could be crisper and won’t get away with sub-par technique in the NFL like does at the FCS level but quick enough to limit separation out of breaks. Got caught flat footed at times and could do better job of using long arms to reroute receivers at the line of scrimmage. Took extra step or two to gather and plant off back foot.
Ball Skills 2 Tracks the ball well. Timed jumps well and can highpoint the ball in jump ball situations. Arm length appears to be above average on film and got hand on passes most corners would not have. Can reach in with left hand and deflect the ball without getting called for interference. Can extend arm and knock ball to the ground when has opportunity to go up with both hands and come down with the pick.
Run Support 2 Doesn’t shy away from contact and filled when he read run. Violent punch and can get off blocks. Kept outside contain and funneled backs inside. Has experience lining up outside tight end and could hold own if moved to safety. Wrapped but wrapped high at times raising concerns about ability to get power backs to the ground at the next level.

1 = Exceptional2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal

As we’ve established, cornerback is a pressing need for the Vikings. PRESSING. Like, “you might have to cheer for a domestic abuser in Chris Cook because we LITERALLY have no other options” pressing. I think what people end up liking about Johnson is his size. At 6’2″, 205 lbs, he’d be a good fit to guard the ridiculously sized wide receivers that are starting to become the norm in the NFL. As we saw with Chris Cook, when you have a guy who starts playing up to his potential against someone like Calvin Johnson (think the first Vikings/Lions game and Cook’s diving pass break-up pre-beating-the-shit-out-of-his-girlfriend), that puts your team in a good spot. Johnson appears to have those intangibles, and could maybe be coached up to be a solid 1 or 2 cornerback for us. If he were able to do that, he’d be a solid choice for the Vikings, although likely not where he’s ranked at currently, which is 50th overall. That’d put him somewhere in the middle of the second round, and I would see the Vikings picking him until the mid-3rd or 4th, if it came to that.

If they did though, it’d be pretty cool to have a “Johnson & Johnson” match-up. BUT WOULD IT BE TEARS FREE?! No, probably not for the Vikings, ever.


About PJD

I once saw Paul Edinger kick a 56-yard field goal for the Minnesota Vikings against the Green Bay Packers to win a game in the Metrodome. It was exhilarating.